West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has written to Opposition leaders and chief ministers of non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ruled states, expressing concern over central agencies being used to harass political opponents across the country.
The Trinamool Congress supremo alleged that agencies such as the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Income Tax Department are being used by the Centre to target and corner their opponents.
"We believe in transparency and accountability in governance but we will not tolerate the vindictive politics of the BJP that has led to a political witch hunt," CM Banerjee wrote in her letter.
She further alleged that the BJP is trying to repeatedly attack the "federal structure of this country" by trying to influence a certain section of the judiciary.
"As the opposition parties, it is our constitutional responsibility to hold this government accountable for their actions, to resist the stifling of voices of dissent," she added.
In light of this, Banerjee has called for a meeting to discuss the way forward, stating that the need of the hour is for "all progressive forces" in India to come together "and fight this oppressive force".
"Let us commit to the cause of a unified and principled opposition that will make way for the government that our country deserves," ended her letter.
In February, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut had said that the central agencies were troubling and putting pressure on the leaders of his party.
In the same month, Congress leader Randeep Surjewala had taken a jibe against the Enforcement Directorate, saying that the ED was BJP's 'Election Department'. His comment had come after the arrest of the nephew of former Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Channi ahead of the state polls on 20 February.
'Oppn is & Will Remain United': TMC MP Dola Sen
Reiterating the TMC chief, party MP Dola Sen spoke to news agency ANI and said,
"Modi Ji-led central government is using central agencies like CBI for their party's benefit and against the Opposition, it's unfortunate. They've also sent a partisan governor to all non-BJP states, to increase problems further. It's unethical, unconstitutional."
She asserted that the Opposition "is and will remain united", adding that every opposition party has a "good connection with Mamata".
Banerjee's letter comes a day after she said that the TMC would protest if the CBI followed the BJP's 'diktats' while probing the Birbhum massacre, where eight people were charred to death in retaliation for a local TMC leader's murder.
“I still think there is a conspiracy behind the Rampurhat incident. It was a good decision to hand over the probe to the CBI. But if they only follow BJP’s diktats, we will be ready to protest," the leader had said while addressing an event at Bagdogra in north Bengal on Sunday.