Trinamool Congress party’s senior leader Sudip Bandopadhyay is arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged chit fund scam. He is the second TMC MP to have been held by the central agency, probing the matter, after Tapas Paul.
Reacting angrily to the developments on Tuesday, West Bengal CM and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee accused the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using its agencies against those who “raised” voice against demonetisation.
“I just can’t think that Sudip Bandopadhyay, who is our party’s leader in the Lok Sabha will be arrested. I also have information that Modi wants to arrest many other TMC leaders like Abhishek Banerjee, Sovan Chatterjee (city mayor) and Firhad Hakim (minister),” she told reporters immediately after Sudip Bandopadhyay’s arrest.
Mamata Banerjee and her party have aggressively criticised the central government’s decision to ban higher denomination currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1000, even leading a march to the President’s door.
“I am shocked, but not scared. Let him arrest all of us. I openly challenge him to arrest me. Let me see his guts. He may silence others, but not me. He can’t suppress our voice. He can’t bulldoze people’s voice,” she said., adding,“We will fight legal battle in every case”.
Bandopadhyay, who arrived at the CBI’s Kolkata office at around 11 am, was subjected to more than four hours of intensive interrogation by CBI, after which he was arrested. The TMC MP had been summoned thrice earlier by the investigation agency.
His arrest in the alleged Rose Valley scam came close on the heels of the arrest of another Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul on Friday. Paul, an actor-turned politician, is now in the CBI custody in Bhubaneshwar.
Saying that the “party is behind Sudip” the TMC chief convened an emergency meeting on Sudip’s arrest to chalk out the party’s action plan.
There are reports that TMC would launch dharnas to protest against its leader’s arrest starting Wednesday. “The party is behind Sudip. He has not done anything wrong. Even if he is in jail, the people of Bengal will keep him in their heart,” she said.
(With inputs from the PTI)