‘Happenings In Bengal Indicate Constitutional Breakdown’: Rajnath Singh Says Centre Has Power To Maintain Normalcy

‘Happenings In Bengal Indicate Constitutional Breakdown’: Rajnath Singh Says Centre Has Power To Maintain NormalcyUnion Home Minister, Rajnath Singh. (Sonu Mehta/Hindustan Times)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has hinted a strong follow-up action as the clash between state government and Centre worsens in West Bengal. He said on Monday (4 February) that the "unfortunate" and "unprecedented" developments in West Bengal involving the CBI and the Kolkata Police indicate a constitutional breakdown, reports Times of India.

Article 356 of Indian Constitution says that if a state government is unable to function according to constitutional provisions, the central government can take direct control of the state machinery, imposing President’s Rule.

"There may be 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," the home minister said, adding that a report has been sought from the Governor.

Singh told Lok Sabha (LS) that it was "unprecedented" that the CBI was not allowed to do its duty lawfully when it wanted to question Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar regarding chit fund scams as later was ‘not cooperating’.

On Sunday (3 February), Kolkata witnessed high drama after the city police detained Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officials who had reached the residence Rajeev Kumar. It was followed by a team of Kolkata police reaching the CBI state headquarters in the city. After the police team left, a CRPF squad was dispatched to the state headquarters and Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo Mamata Banerjee sitting on a protest.

Mahagathbandhan leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Akhilesh Yadav, Tejashwi Yadav, Chandrababu Naidu, Mayawati, Arvind Kejriwal and others have reportedly expressed solidarity with chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Members of opposition parties have taken up the issue in Lok Sabha. Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge charged that the government was using the CBI as a weapon to finish the Opposition and put in place an autocratic regime. Neither the people nor any party would bow down before such actions, he added.

CPI-M member Badaruddoza Khan blamed both the TMC and the centre for the happenings, adding that during past four years, the CBI did not take any action.

Also read: ‘When CBI Does Its Job It’s Political Vendetta, When It Doesn’t A Caged Parrot’: Defence Minister Sitharaman