The Shiv Sena on Wednesday demanded that West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar should be removed from his post and alleged that he was being used to create “political instability” in the state.
In an editorial published in its mouthpiece Saamana, the Shiv Sena claimed that the behaviour of the governor was “against the Constitution”.
The allegations came in the wake of the Central Bureau of Investigation arrest of state ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, Trinamool Congress MLA Madan Mitra and former TMC leader Sovan Chatterjee in the Narada bribery case on Monday.
The editorial said that the central agency needed the Speaker’s permission to arrest the legislators. “They did not take any such permission,” it said. “But Dhankhar says he gave permission to the CBI to arrest the legislators.”
The Shiv Sena claimed that the Centre had tasked the governor with “torturing” a woman chief minister and said that the National Commission for Women should take the matter seriously.
The party noted that the accused were caught on camera taking bribes in the Narada sting operation and said this was serious. But, it asked why there was no CBI investigation against Mukul Roy and Suvendu Adhikari, who were among the TMC leaders accused of taking bribes. Roy and Adhikari are now BJP leaders.
“The events taking place in Bengal are weakening this democracy and degrading the constitution,” the editorial said.
In its editorial, the Shiv Sena claimed that the BJP could not accept its loss in the state Assembly polls and hence has continued to attack Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. “Prime Minister Modi’s name is getting tarnished in this whole quarrel,” the editorial said. “What happened in Kolkata on Monday does not suit the country’s reputation.”
The CBI arrested Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee early on Monday morning. Chatterjee had quit the Trinamool Congress in 2019 to join BJP, but left the saffron party too, in March. He did not contest the elections this year.
The accused were earlier granted bail but the Calcutta High Court stayed it during a late Monday night hearing.
The bribery case
The bribery case involves videos published by Narada News, in which several Trinamool Congress leaders were allegedly seen accepting cash in return for favours. The videos, shot by Samuel, were released ahead of the state Assembly elections in 2016. Banerjee has alleged that the sting operation was a conspiracy hatched against her government and party members before the elections. In June 2017, she ordered a police inquiry into the case.
Seven of the then Trinamool Congress MPs were also involved in the scam. Of them, Adhikari and Mukul Roy switched sides to the BJP. One of the accused, former Trinamool Congress politician Sultan Ahmed died in 2017.
The CBI has also sought to prosecute MPs Sougata Roy, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee and Aparupa Poddar also but Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has not granted the permission yet.