Raids On Lalu, Chidambaram ‘Political Vendetta’, Says CM Mamata


New Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday termed as “political vendetta” the raids on Congress leader P Chidambaram and RJD chief Lalu Prasad and said she had discussed the issue with Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Banerjee, whose party leaders are facing probe in the alleged Sarada chit fund scam and the alleged Narada bribery scam, targeted the Modi government in a veiled manner, saying, “If you do not like someone, then you send CBI, then put him in jail.”

She said even the media is under “tremendous pressure” from the government.
“… some political vendetta is going on…. Whatever is happening today… sometimes with (Samajwadi Party leader) Akhilesh (Yadav), sometimes with (Odisha Chief Minister) Naveen Patnaik, sometimes with Laluji, Chidamabaram, (Delhi Chief Minister Arvind) Kejriwal,” Mamata told reporters.

She was referring to the CBI raids on multiple premises linked to Chidambaram, former Finance Minister, and his son Karti in connection with alleged favours granted in FIPB clearance to a firm.

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Her reference was also to the Income Tax raids on at least 22 locations in Delhi and adjoining areas on charges of alleged benami deals worth Rs 1,000 crore linked to Lalu Prasad and others.

“… What is on since morning, that was also discussed,” Mamata said about the raids after meeting Sonia Gandhi here.

In an apparent message to the Modi government, the Trinamool Congress chief asked, “If you fight with everybody then who is left out?”

Without naming anyone, she said political fight should be fought politically.

“It does not behove anyone. Political fight, ideological fight should be fought politically,” she said.

On her meeting with Gandhi, Mamata said, “We discussed political issues. When two political leaders discuss, it is natural that they would talk politics. We discussed very important matter regarding politics and presidential elections both.”

The meeting lasted about the 40 minutes in which Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was also present. Mamata said even the media is also under “tremendous pressure and I know that. Barring two or three media houses, no one is able to say anything. There is pressure on the media. But India is a democratic country. We should not do it.”