In a letter to Opposition leaders and her counterparts in states not under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rule, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has accused the saffron party of attacking the federal structure of the country, ANI reported on Tuesday.
The Trinamool Congress chief, in the letter dated March 27, called for a meeting of the Opposition parties to “deliberate on the way forward”.
“The need of the hour is for all progressive forces in this country to come together and fight this oppressive force,” she wrote.
Banerjee accused the BJP of misusing central agencies like the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Income Tax Department and the Central Vigilance Commission to carry out a “political witch hunt”.
In the past too, many Opposition leaders have alleged that the central government has been using these agencies to target opponents.
As recently as on Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray asked the BJP not to target his family members in order to come to power in the state. His remarks came three days after his brother-in-law Sridhar Madhav Patankar’s assets worth Rs 6.45 crore were frozen by the Enforcement Directorate for his alleged involvement in a money laundering case.
Notably, the West Bengal chief minister’s nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee too is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam. He was questioned for eight hours last week and has been asked to appear again on Tuesday.
In her letter, Mamata Banerjee said that the BJP’s intent to suppress Opposition leaders is an attack on the country’s institutional democracy.
She pointed out that Bills were passed to extend the tenures of chiefs of the Central Bureau of Investigation, the Enforcement Directorate and the Central Vigilance Commission in Parliament amid walkouts by Opposition parties.
She also accused the BJP of influencing “a certain section of judiciary”. The chief minister alleged that people “are not getting justice” because of “biased political interferences”.
“I have the highest regards for the judiciary,” she wrote. “But at present due to certain biased political interferences, people are not getting justice which is a dangerous trend in our democracy.”