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'Not Accountable to Home Minister': TMC Hits Out on Summons Over JP Nadda's Convoy Attack

A vehicle in BJP president JP Nadda's convoy damaged after stone-pelting by alleged TMC activists at Sirakal near Diamond Harbour on December 10, 2020. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)

A vehicle in BJP president JP Nadda's convoy damaged after stone-pelting by alleged TMC activists at Sirakal near Diamond Harbour on December 10, 2020. (PTI Photo/Swapan Mahapatra)

Kalyan Banerjee alleged that the Centre was resorting to coercive means to intimidate the state administration, and the top officials were summoned at the instance of the Union Home Minister.

Senior Trinamool Congress lawmaker Kalyan Banerjee wrote to Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla on Saturday, saying that West Bengal’s chief secretary and director-general of police were summoned to Delhi over the attack on BJP chief JP Nadda’s convoy with ”political motive”, asserting that law and order is a state subject. Banerjee, the chief whip of the Trinamool Congress in Lok Sabha, alleged that the Centre was resorting to coercive means to intimidate the state administration, and the top officials were summoned at the instance of the Union Home Minister.

”We want to inform you that law and order is within the domain of the state under 7th Schedule of the State list…How in respect of the law and order situation you can call both the officers for any sorts of discussion?” he asked. ”It appears that with a political motive and at the instance of your minister, who is a political person belonging to Bharatiya Janata Party, you have issued the said letter.

You are trying to coerce the officers of West Bengal with political vindictiveness. It appears you are interfering with the federal structure,” Banerjee added. He also claimed that a person, who is a convict in a case and named in 59 other criminal cases, was in the convoy of Nadda on December 10 and ”made provocative gestures” to the TMC supporters standing on the roadside.

He said that in respect of law and order, the state government is accountable to the legislative assembly ”but not to you or to your home minister”. ”Laws have been thrown out in river by your action at the instance of Shri Amit Shah, BJP leader and Union Home Minister,” the lawmaker said, adding that indirect attempts were being made to impose emergency in West Bengal.

Banerjee said that with Parliament not in session, he was voicing strong opposition to the move by the Centre through the letter on behalf of his party. The MHA had on Friday summoned Chief Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay and DGP Virendra asking them to present themselves on December 14 for an explanation on the law and order situation in the state, following Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar’s report on the attack on Nadda’s convoy by alleged supporters of the ruling TMC in South 24 Parganas district on December 10.

The chief secretary wrote to the Union home secretary, saying that he has been directed to request to ”dispense with the presence of the state officials” in the meeting convened on December 14.

first published:December 12, 2020, 14:35 IST