West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation’s raids on Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav were politically motivated and said that all central investigative agencies should be given autonomy, the Hindustan Times reported.
The Trinamool Congress chief, while speaking to the media after a Cabinet meeting, accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of bulldozing the country’s federal structure. “I am sorry to say this but even [Adolf] Hitler, [Joseph] Stalin and [Benito] Mussolini did not do this,” she remarked.
On May 20, the Central Bureau of Investigation filed a fresh case of corruption against Yadav, accusing him of taking land from job aspirants in return for employment with the railways when he was the Union Railway Minister in the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government. The agency searched 17 places in Delhi and Bihar in connection with the matter.
Banerjee on Monday said that no investigative agency should be under the prime minister, Union home minister or any chief minister.
“These agencies should be given autonomy,” she said, according to The New Indian Express. “The Centre will pay for the salary of the employees working in the central agencies but the law enforcement wings should be allowed to work freely. It would be possible only if these agencies are allowed to function independently.”
Banerjee questioned whether action against Yadav was being taken on account of the next elections, and asked how many BJP leaders had been arrested by central investigative agencies.
Assembly elections in Bihar are slated to be held in 2025, a year after the Lok Sabha elections.
Currently, central investigative agencies are looking into several cases against Trinamool Congress leaders. The Enforcement Directorate has named the party’s general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee as accused persons in a case of alleged illegal coal mining and theft from the mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas.
On May 18, the Central Bureau of Investigation interrogated state industry minister Partha Chatterjee in a case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the recruitment of staff in schools through the School Service Commission, according to PTI.
The Central Bureau of Investigation is also looking into some cases related to post-poll violence in West Bengal after the results of Assembly elections were declared last year.