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  Opinion   Edit  05 Jan 2017  Will TMC arrests lead to relook at CBI role?

Will TMC arrests lead to relook at CBI role?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 5, 2017, 5:02 am IST
Updated : Jan 5, 2017, 7:02 am IST

Rose Valley is active in West Bengal, Odisha and some neighbouring states.

TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay being taken by CBI officers to Bhubaneswar for further inquiry who was arrested in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam in Kolkata. (Photo: PTI)
 TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay being taken by CBI officers to Bhubaneswar for further inquiry who was arrested in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam in Kolkata. (Photo: PTI)

The CBI’s arrest of Trinamul Congress Lok Sabha leader Sudip Bandopadhyay on Tuesday, and of the party’s actor-MP Tapas Pal earlier, on charges of being involved in a chit fund scam due to their association with Rose Valley, an infrastructure and finance company with varied business interests, threatens to snowball into a major political confrontation at the national level. This is mainly because the CBI has unfortunately acquired the reputation of being a police outfit that is unleashed by the party in power at the Centre to hound political opponents in order to advance its political aims by weakening adversaries. This impression was strengthened when the Supreme Court called it a “caged parrot” a few years ago.

This is why, no less than the allegations of corruption involving influential elements of the TMC, the row that has arisen is apt to become an examination of the nature of the institution of the CBI itself in its present form.

Questions have already begun to be asked why Babul Supriyo, a Union minister from West Bengal who does not hide his association with Rose Valley, has not been questioned — or arrested for questioning — by the CBI.

Rose Valley is active in West Bengal, Odisha and some neighbouring states. Business enterprises usually maintain good relations with ruling parties at the state and the Centre. In order to be fair, before others point this out, it will be in the fitness of things if the CBI takes a look at political personalities of all parties, including the BJP, to see if they have favoured irregular dealings of Rose Valley or other firms for a consideration — the charge that is levelled at a clutch of high-ranking TMC figures.

Since the Narendra Modi government came to power, the impression has gained ground that the BJP has been behaving in an holier-than-thou fashion, accusing its opponents of corruption with the purpose of harassing them and to prevent them from mounting a challenge to the government at the Centre, and disregarding allegations of corruption against its own leaders and state governments.

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who led an unrestrained attack on top BJP leaders, including the PM and BJP president Amit Shah, said this openly Tuesday. With BSP supremo Mayawati, this has been a refrain for some time in the context of the CBI’s activities, specially as in UP the BJP tended to view the BSP, rather than the incumbency-laden SP, as its main opponent. It has also been felt in political circles that the ruling party has been trying to constrain the Congress Party through the so-called National Herald case. In contrast, government investigators have thought the better of probing allegations arising from the Birla-Sahara diary jottings.

Tags: sudip bandopadhyay, tapas pal, rose valley scam