Launching a blistering attack against the Centre, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today termed state Transport Minister Madan Mitra’s arrest as “political vendetta” and “dirty conspiracy” by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and dared the Narendra Modi-led NDA government to arrest her.
“What has happened is illegal and unconstitutional. It is a dangerous step to destroy democratic institutions. My government condemns the arrest of Madan Mitra in the strictest of terms,” Banerjee told reporters at the state secretariat here.
“It is a conspiracy, a very dirty conspiracy, I ask the Prime Minister to put me in jail first. He (Mitra) was called as a witness. Within a few years he was arrested. Is it not a political vendetta?” a furious Banerjee said.
“I will visit Madan in SSKM Hospital (when he is taken there for medical examination). Arrest me with whatever police Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have at their disposal,” she said.
Taking on the BJP leadership and its president Amit Shah, the Trinamool Congress supremo said, “We will tear open their mask, we will fight them in Delhi.”
“A man who has himself been arrested and chargesheeted by the CBI is pointing finger at us,” Banerjee said.
“It is pure political vendetta, the secular, democratic and republican fabric of the country is being destroyed,” Banerjee said terming Mitra’s arrest as illegal, unconstitutional as also discourteous.
She said that the Trinamool Congress would hit the streets from tomorrow and threatened to take up the issue in the Parliament.
“They have cleverly arrested Madan on a Friday as Parliament will be closed on the weekend,” she claimed.
“Situation in India is like Emergency now, new battle has begun. We accept your challenge, my government condemns Madan Mitra’s arrest in the strictest of terms,” she said adding, “Centre is behaving like a coward and an autocrat, this is a dangerous and disastrous game.”
“All people of Bengal are my assets, if the Centre arrests even one person illegally, I will protest,” she said.
Claiming that the activities of the BJP government are worse than the Emergency days during Indira Gandhi’s prime ministership, she said, “He (Mitra) has taken the constitutional oath, he is my colleague in the ministry. He has taken oath not to do anything unconstitutional.”