Bengali Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s comments on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday made her the target of Congress and the JPC. Her twist: the Chief Minister is “going soft on him.” Ms. Banerjee, an unrelenting critic of the Prime Minister, surprised many with her comment yesterday that she almost cleared him of any role in investigations that could be causing businessmen to flee India.
“The BJP leaders (who) are conspiring” deserve the blame for that, he said, noting that the CBI reports to the Union Home Office, controlled by Amit Shah, and not the Prime Minister’s Office.
Congress, which had taken to the streets against the misuse of central agencies, was particularly harsh. Lok Sabha Adhir party leader Ranjan Chowdhury accused Ms. Banerjee of being a “Trojan horse” in the opposition fold.
“Mamata is holding out an olive branch to the prime minister out of desperation. The reason is obvious. When the West Bengal ruling waiver has been confronting the investigative agencies, which have been acting at the behest of the court, the TMC itself it has shaken.” said Chowdhury, who shares a particularly bitter relationship with Banerjee.
“Mamata Banerjee’s image as a politician, who gives the impression of integrity and honesty, has been shattered… Now Mamata Banerjee trembles with fear because she knows where her shoe is pinched,” he added.
In the unrestrained attack, he also said there is “nothing new” in Ms. Banerjee’s “appreciation of the BJP and the RSS (BJP’s ideological mentor, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).” Ms Banerjee was once part of the NDA, “so the relationship is not new at all,” she said.
The CPM, whose 35-year rule ended with Mamata Banerjee in 2011, went a step further. Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress “came into existence as an offshoot of RSS in 1998,” said party leader Sujan Chakraborty.
“People who don’t know about the internal events and the chemistry of Congress Trinamool or Mamata Banerjee with Prime Minister Modi or others, may be upset. But we who have information… are not upset,” he added.
Clarifying Ms Banerjee’s comment, sources in the Trinamool Congress said it is not about going soft on Prime Minister Modi. Ms Banerjee, they said, was only speaking from an industry point of view, as she is trying to attract investment to Bengal.
The BJP has also taken the line that the Chief Minister’s statement was an attempt at appeasement. No one in the BJP, least of all the prime minister, needs Mamata Banerjee’s validation, the party said.
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