Making a statement in the Lok Sabha on the prevailing situation in Bengal, Union home minister Rajnath Singh described the action against the CBI team, which had gone to question Kolkata Police commissioner Rajeev Kumar on his alleged complicity in chit fund scams, as an 'unprecedented' threat to the federal structure
New Delhi: Union home minister Rajnath Singh Monday said there may be a constitutional breakdown in West Bengal in the wake of the Kolkata Police-CBI face-off and asserted that the Centre has the power to take action.
Amidst din in the Lok Sabha, he also termed as "unprecedented" the move to stop the probe agency from performing its duty.
An all-out war broke out between the Centre and the Mamata Banerjee government on Sunday over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police commissioner in connection with chit fund scams.
Making a statement in Lok Sabha on the prevailing situation in Kolkata, Singh described the action against the CBI probe team, which went to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, as "unprecedented" and a threat to the federal political system of the country.
"There may be a constitutional breakdown in West Bengal... under the Constitution, the central government has been vested with the power to maintain normalcy in any part of the country," he said.
Earlier, opposition parties in Lok Sabha attacked the government over the alleged misuse of central agencies against political rivals, saying it was against democratic norms.
Members from Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal, NCP and Samajwadi Party spoke against the CBI move to question the Kolkata police chief.
A CPI(M) member said both the Trinamool Congress and the Centre were at fault.
As soon as the House took up Zero Hour, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed members to raise the issue.
Lok Sabha adjourned amid noise by TMC MPs
Lok Sabha proceedings Monday were disrupted in the wake of protests and sloganeering by Trinamool Congress members over the alleged misuse of the CBI in West Bengal.
The House was adjourned for the second time till 2 PM after the Zero Hour went on for around 25 minutes.
Members of the Trinamool Congress, who alleged that the Centre was misusing the CBI to politically capture West Bengal, trooped into the Well during the Zero Hour. Members from other parties, including the TDP, SP and Congress, were also in the Well.
Soon after the papers were laid, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy to speak about the incident in Kolkata involving the CBI and the Kolkata Police.
BJD leader B Mahtab, leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and those from the Left, SP, NCP and RJD also spoke against the Centre during the Zero Hour.
Saumitra Khan, who won on Trinamool Congress ticket and recently joined the BJP, also spoke from Treasury benches.
When Home Minister Rajnath Singh started to speak on the issue, wherein he also said that Sunday's incident was unfortunate, Trinamool Congress members trooped into the Well and began shouting slogans. Some of them were also seen clapping.
Mahajan continued with the Zero Hour for less than ten minutes and as the protests continued, the proceedings were adjourned till 2 PM.
Amid the din, the Speaker asked the protesting members to go back to their seats but they did not relent.
Earlier, the House was adjourned till noon following protests by Trinamool Congress members over alleged "misuse" of the CBI by the central government.
In an unprecedented development Sunday evening, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had started a dharna, protesting CBI's attempt to quiz Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar in connection with chit fund scams.
A CBI team, which went to Kumar's residence in the city's Loudon Street area, was denied permission, bundled into police jeeps and whisked to a police station on Sunday.
The CBI wants to quiz Kumar, who led a Special Investigation Team of West Bengal Police probing the scams, regarding missing documents and files.
Some Congress members were seen displaying placards about an alleged scam in the Rafale deal.
After the adjournment of the House, Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee and Idris Ali were seen chatting with BJP members.
Rajya Sabha held to ransom too
Slogan shouting by Trinamool Congress members over alleged misuse of the CBI by the Centre led to adjournment of the Rajya Sabha till 2 PM on Monday.
Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu asked agitated members to raise the issue during the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's Address but TMC members did not heed to the suggestion and started raising slogans like "Save the Constitution" and moved towards the Well.
Naidu then adjourned the House till 2 PM.
As soon as the ministers laid listed papers on the table of the House, some opposition members were on their feet.
Naidu said he has received several notices, including from Derek O'Brien of the TMC on the CBI issue.
"I have not admitted any one of them (notices)," Naidu said, adding members will get an opportunity to raise the "important matter at length" during the debate on the President's address.
However, TMC started raising slogans and some members started moving towards the Well leading to adjournment.
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Last Updated Feb 4, 2019, 1:44 PM IST