“I don’t believe PM Modi is misusing central agencies”: Mamata Banerjee

Debjit Mukherjee, Kolkata: Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she does not believe prime minister Narendra Modi is ‘misusing’ central investigative agencies to harass and intimidate rivals – a claim made frequently by opposition leaders, including some from her Trinamool Congress. She said there were some within the Bharatiya Janata Party who were doing so to further their own interests.

Mamata Banerjee made the comments while speaking on a resolution by the Bengal government against the ‘excesses’ of central agencies. She urged the prime minister to ensure that the agenda of the central government and those of his party don’t get mixed. “This won’t be good for the country.”

“The present union government is behaving in a dictatorial way. This resolution is not against anyone in particular, but against the biased functioning of the central agencies,” Banerjee was quoted.

The Bengal assembly passed the resolution with 189 MLAs voting in favour and 69 (most of whom were BJP lawmakers) standing opposed.

Banerjee – a fierce critic of the prime minister, with whom she has had several fierce running battles, particularly ahead of last year’s Assembly election – did, however, lash out at the central government for ‘behaving in a dictatorial way’.

She defended the resolution, saying it was not aimed at any person but against the ‘biased functioning’ of central investigative agencies like the Enforcement Directorate or the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Suvendu Adhikari, the chief minister’s former aide and whose defection to the BJP before the 2021 election triggered a massive controversy – condemned the resolution, declaring it against the rules and regulations of the state Assembly.