Monday, 30th October 2017

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Manner of arrest depressing, says Mamata

Mamata Banerjee described the manner of P. Chidambaram’s arrest as “very depressing, very sad and bad”

  • Published 23.08.19, 2:16 AM
  • Updated 23.08.19, 2:16 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Mamata Banerjee on Saturday. (Gautam Bose)

Mamata Banerjee on Thursday described the “process” of P. Chidambaram’s arrest as “very depressing, very sad and bad” before launching a veiled attack on the Centre over the “state of the Indian democracy”.

“I have only one thing to say. I believe sometimes the process is incorrect… I am not talking about the matter of legality. But Chidambaram is a senior politician, a former finance and home minister of our country. The way his matter is being handled…that is very depressing, very sad and bad also,” the chief minister said in Digha.

She was responding to questions at a time many in the national Opposition have been critical of the handling of Chidambaram’s case by the CBI.

The Trinamul chief stressed that democracy rested on four pillars — democratic institutions, the Election Commission, media and the judiciary. “We are missing, very much, democracy in our country… it is crying…. The media has turned into the BJP’s spokesperson…. The channels are the BJP’s panels. Whatever they are saying, the channels are telecasting. They are even sending videos to channels and asking them to show.”

On the judiciary, Mamata said “no comment is my only comment”. She then hastened to add: “But I will quote Rabindranath Tagore: “Bichaarer baani neerawbe nibhrite knaade (The message of justice weeps in silent isolation).”

Trinamul sources said Mamata did not go out of her way to defend Chidambaram against the allegations in the INX Media case as the last word on the matterwas yet to be heard.

“But the process followed — like in the matter of abolition of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status — was highly questionable. So, like in the case of Jammu and Kashmir, she questioned the (Chidambaram case) process, steering clear of arguments on legality,” said a Trinamul leader.

Another Trinamul leader said Mamata seemed mellower than usual in her response, but attributed the moderation to advice from poll consultant Prashant Kishor (PK). “She has been far less belligerent and is no longer seen shooting from the hip on serious or sensitive issues. She also takes her time before issuing statements or reactions. This is an impact of Team PK,” he said.

Later in the day, Mamata posted a Bengali poem titled “Thikana” on the state of India’s democracy.

“Gawnotontreyr thikana? Chena jachchhey na. Desheyr itihaash/ Bojha jachchhey na. / Shongbaad jawgot / Kotha bolchhey na (The address of democracy? / Cannot be identified/ The history of the nation / Cannot be understood. / The world of news / Not talking),” read the first few lines of the 22-line poem.

“Bichaareyr kushawl kawleybawr? / Awshawmmaaneyr utheychhey jhawr! / Ey jhawr kyano thaamchhey na? / Odhikaargulo bawsta bhorti / Protibaadirao karagaarey bondi. / Fascism kaukey maaneyna (Is all well with the body of justice? / A storm of dishonour blows! / Why does this storm not stop? / The rights are all packed in a sack -- / The protestors are imprisoned / Fascism does not acknowledge anybody),” it read further.

The BJP was quick to criticise the remarks. State unit chief Dilip Ghosh — also the Midnapore MP — said Mamata was defending Chidambaram as she was aware of what this might mean for her.

“If the CBI could nab Chidambaram from his residence, it could well show up at 30B Harish Chatterjee Street next. That awareness is driving her to such a reaction,” Ghosh said.