West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday described as “blatant lie” the Union Home Ministry charge that Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar participated in her dharna, and said the officer never went up to the dais of her three-day sit-in.
Banerjee slammed the Centre for asking West Bengal government to initiate proceedings against Kumar for indiscipline and violation of service rules, and termed the act a “political vendetta”.
“Why is the central government so scared? Has Rajeev become their nightmare? I do not know what is going on. He never joined the dharna. Absolutely blatant lie,” Banerjee told reporters after calling off her demonstration on the third day this evening.
Earlier during the day, the Union Home Ministry, which is the cadre controlling authority of the Indian Police Service officers in the country, asked the West Bengal chief secretary to initiate the process against Kumar.
The ministry said that as per information received by it, Kumar sat on a dharna along with some police officers with the West Bengal chief minister, which is prima facie in contravention of the extant provisions of the All India Services (Conduct) Rules, 1968 and All India Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969.
Banerjee said it was the job of a police officer to give protection to the prime minister and chief ministers.
“And please remember the duty of the police as per protocol is to be with the prime minister, the chief minister or the governor to give security to them. That is the law. Even during election time, the CPs, SPs stay at the spot with VIPs while performing their duty,” she said.
“I am the chief minister. Can’t they talk to me downstairs if any consultation is needed,” she said adding that she held a Cabinet meeting with all her ministers inside a police outpost next to the dais Monday. What is this going on,” she asked slamming the MHA missive.
The chief minister went on, describing the Centre’s move as a part of a “larger conspiracy” to take control government agencies, including those in the state.
“You (PM Narendra Modi) want to see the education, you want to see agriculture, see everything. You want to be the only man, one party to be in the country,” she said, and added, “You resign from the post of the prime minister and go back to Gujarat to control the state agencies there”.
Banerjee sat on a “Save India” dharna in front of Metro Cinema in the heart of the city since Sunday night insisting that the latest CBI action was tantamount to stifling the spirit of “Constitution and federalism” in the country.
Her fight got support from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Andhra Pradesh counterpart Chandrababu Naidu other prominent leaders such as Sharad Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, DMK’s Kanimozhi, RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav.