How can CRPF protect BJP headquarters? TMC says Centre ‘disturbing’ federal structure of country

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Stating that law-and-order was a state matter, West Bengal Education Minister and TMC secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday questioned how CRPF personnel could be deployed outside the BJP head office in the city.

CRPF personnel

Alleging that the Centre was trying to “disturb” the federal structure of the country, he said Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had not recommended the deployment.

“How was the CRPF deployed on the basis of (BJP national secretary) Rahul Sinha’s words? Who has given them the rights to do so…They (the Centre) are trying to disturb the federal structure of the country. Law-and-order is a state matter,” Chatterjee told reporters at the state secretariat.

“I spoke to the Governor today…He said he had not recommended the CRPF deployment,” he added.

Hours after the arrest of Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay by the CBI yesterday in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam, the BJP office in central Kolkata was attacked allegedly by the activists of the TMC’s student wing.

Subsequently, CRPF personnel, meant for Sinha’s personal security, were deployed outside the office which triggered a controversy.

Sinha later said the CRPF personnel were called for his own security.

“I get CRPF protection. For my security, more CRPF personnel have been deputed in view of the ongoing violence,” he had said.

Continuing his tirade against the BJP, Chatterjee alleged that the saffron party’s “jallad bahini” (henchmen) and the CPI(M)’s “harmads” (the term derived from the Portuguese word for ‘pirates’) had “joined hands to disrupt the development works in the state”.

“For 34 years, CPI(M)’s ‘harmads’ have destroyed the state…Now, BJP’s ‘jallad bahini’ has joined them to stall the development works taken up by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee,” the TMC leader said.

Reacting to BJP general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya’s “warning” to the TMC today to “mend its ways or face consequences”, Chatterjee said “such corrupt people should not question others but mind their own businesses”.

“Some half-leaders have surfaced these days. Such corrupt leaders who have lost their posts must mind their own businesses…And, instead of questioning the stability of a government or criticising it, they must run a check on their own stability. Such corrupt people have no right to criticise others…The people of India will one day teach them a lesson,” he said.

Asserting that the TMC would continue with its protests against the BJP-led Centre’s demonetisation move, Chatterjee said the party would stage demonstrations and take out rallies in all the blocks, divisions, sub-divisions and districts of West Bengal for three consecutive days starting 9 January.

“We will also demonstrate in front of the RBI office in the city on these three days. We will continue with our fight for the right of the people,” he added.

Fuming over the “unconstitutional” deployment of CRPF outside the BJP office here last night, the West Bengal government is set to write a letter to the Centre pointing out its infringement on the state’s rights on law and order.

According to a top official in the State Secretariat, the letter will point out that since law and order is a state subject the deployment of the paramilitary force outside the BJP office is an “infringement into the state’s rights”.

It would question why the CRPF, actually meant for BJP national secretary Rahul Sinha’s security, was deployed outside the party’s office, the source told PTI.

A CRPF contingent was rushed to secure BJP office in Kolkata and ensure safety of its workers after a violent attack by arrested TMC leader Sudip Bandyopahyay’s supporters on the saffron party’s state headquarters here which left several people injured and set off a fresh bout of recrimination between the two parties.

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