Kolkata. Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Sunday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of using government machinery and institutions to intimidate the opposition, questioning the removal of Andhra Pradesh chief secretary by the Election Commission.
She wondered why PM Modi is not removing his own cabinet secretary or the Union home secretary, if he was so “fond of making last-minute changes”.
“Why is the Centre intervening in state matters? Why was Andhra Pradesh chief secretary removed?” Banerjee, who has accused the Election Commission (EC) of working at the behest of the BJP, asked, addressing an election rally.
“Why don’t you (Modi) remove your own cabinet secretary?” the CM said, claiming that she has worked with several prime ministers, but has never seen anyone as “vindictive” like Modi.
The EC on Friday removed Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary Anil Chandra Punetha from the post and appointed senior-most IAS officer L V Subrahmanyam in his place.
“You have raided the family of Kamal Nath, Karnataka chief minister has been raided, Andhra Pradesh chief minister has also been raided,” she said.
Banerjee accused the BJP-led Central government of using the income tax department and the CBI for raids and getting the institutions to do their bidding.
Reacting to the poll panel’s move of removing four IPS officers in West Bengal, including Kolkata and Bidhanagar police commissioners, the West Bengal chief minister Saturday wrote a letter, protesting its decision.
The letter said the removals were “unfortunate, highly arbitrary, motivated and biased” and taken at the behest of the BJP, and urged the poll panel to review its decision.
Terming Modi as a “nakal chowkidar” (fake watchman), she said “chowkidar jhuta jai, chowkidar lootera hai (watchman is liar, he is a thief)”.
Accusing the BJP of engineering unrest in Darjeeling, where violent protests had jeopardised normal life, she said that those who created a rift between the people of the hills and the plains are now candidates of the saffron party.
The chief minister said that before her party was voted to power in the state, 400 hundred people used to get killed in the Maoist-affected ‘Jangalmahal’ every year.
“When peace prevails in the state, Modi and the BJP are trying to ignite unrest again. Where was Modi when Jangalmahal and Darjeeling were burning?” Banerjee asked, reiterating her recent jab – “Expiry Babu” – at him.
Banerjee said that the PM has not given anything to Bengal. “Even the change of the state’s name has not been sanctioned by the Centre.”