Trinamool’s faux protest
Banerjee will do well to let law take its course
The action by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to book 12 senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in connection with the Narada sting operation case is a serious development and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee cannot just brush this issue away by saying that it is a political conspiracy that should be handled at the political level. As a matter of fact, this isn't a political battle at all. It is but a case that is seriously criminal in nature and the party and its leaders have to fight the battle legally. No amount of demeaning the Union Government or the investigation agency or the courts will serve the purpose. As far as politics is concerned, the TMC has simply levelled allegations of political conspiracy but no charge can stick if it does not have a legal basis. In fact, ever since a CBI inquiry had been ordered in this case, Banerjee has been crying foul over ‘vedanta politics’. Earlier too, attempts were made to brush the incident tapes under the carpet, which showed bribes being accepted by some senior TMC leaders. The party then, as now, put the blame to a political conspiracy by the BJP Government to defame her Government and party. But where does politics exist at all? The matter is with the court and has to be fought at the judiciary’s level. The court is the one that will finally take the call and it will, of course, not go by political brinkmanship, but by way of evidence, as provided by the investigation agency, in this case the CBI, which has the credentials and the expertise. This is where the real battle lies. Moreover, assuming that the leaders had done nothing wrong, Banerjee should be accommodative with the investigations so that ultimately the truth is out and her party stands vindicated. The Trinamool Congress and its leader would, therefore, do well to let the law take its course. If she really feels that her leaders and party are innocent, they must not fear and take recourse to the court. There's no point in Banerjee asking other parties to support her in the case.
As far as the political battle is concerned, the fight is on at the electoral platforms, where the BJP has been making serious inroads in West Bengal. As the recent by-election to the State has shown, it has been a two-horse race between the ruling TMC and the BJP. The BJP came only second to the TMC in the Kanthi Dakshin constituency. Meanwhile, the Congress and the Left were almost wiped off. From all accounts, the BJP has been giving a tough fight to the TMC in its home State. This was also displayed in the 2016 Assembly election, where the BJP did remarkably, by almost cornering the Left and the Congress, which have now fallen to the third and the fourth position. It has to be accepted that the BJP has to fight this battle politically and the TMC too has to do the same. Politics and the Narada scam, or for that matter any other scam such as the Saradha racket, are two different issues. It is wrong on the Chief Minister’s part to drag in ‘politics of vengenace’. A part of Banerjee's problem is also because her effort to unite the opposition against demonetisation had failed miserably. Instead of explaining or defending the role of her partymen, Banerjee would do well to repose faith in the judiciary and let the investigations take place at a desirable pace.
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