Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday came out in support of State Transport Minister Madan Mitra who was arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam, calling the arrest as absolutely unconstitutional, undemocratic and Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) political vendetta.
Addressing a press conference here, taking strong exception to the arrest, Banerjee said, “BJP is trying to bulldoze the democratic institution. Mitra's arrest is illegal and unconstitutional, BJP is misusing the power.”
“Madan Mitra was called in for questioning and was arrested. This is political vendetta,” she added.
Calling the arrests made by the CBI in the Saradha chit fund scam as unethical, the chief minister termed today's development as 'BJP's Goondaism in Bengal.'
Further reacting over Mitra's arrest, Banerjee said, “Arresting our minister is a bullying tactic. How can the government be kept in dark over minister's arrest?”
She added, “If tomorrow I arrest a Central minister in Bengal, what will they do? 'Why no action against CPM?”
Further backlashing against the Narendra Modi-led NDA government, Mamata said, "BJP government at the Centre is 'coward', acting like an 'autocrat'. It is a conspiracy."
"I will go, visit Madan Mitra. Ask them to arrest with whatever police Narendra Modi, BJP president have got at their disposal," Mamata Banerjee told reporters here.
"Madan Mitra submitted his resignation letter, but I am not accepting it because his arrest is illegal," she added.
During the press conference Mamata also announced that the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) plans to stage a major demonstration tomorrow in protest against Madan Mitra's arrest by the CBI.
Prior to the press conference, the arrested TMC minister Madan Mitra had complained of chest pain during a medical examination before being sent to the police custody.
However, the CPI (M) welcomed the development stating Mitra should have been arrested earlier. "This should have happened earlier, three question marks have been erased," said CPI (M) leader Ritabrata Banerjee.
"Nothing to be surprised about, Madan Mitra was going from one hospital to the other to avoid being arrested," another CPI (M) leader Nilotpal Basu said.
Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Surjya Kanta Mishra also demanded immediate questioning of Mamata Banerjee and others in the Saradha scam. "We will now hit the streets with this demand and demands for action against other ponzi companies as also refund of money to the cheated depositors," Mishra said.
The CBI had last month arrested TMC Member of Parliament Srinjoy Bose in connection with the scam.
The Kolkata-based Saradha Group, ponzi scheme had over 10,000 registered chit funds across the country and with an aggregate turnover of Rs 30,000 crore per annum.
The Saradha Group is said to have defrauded thousands of investors, including poor people, inWest Bengal, leading to the arrest of its owner Sudipta Sen.