Mamata Supports Kanimozhi, Says Modi Trying to Threaten Opposition

The West Bengal CM said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is trying to threaten parties opposed to him”.

3 min read
File image of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 17 April, came out in support of DMK leader Kanimozhi, whose residence was searched by central agencies on Tuesday, two days before the state votes.

The West Bengal CM said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi “is trying to threaten parties opposed to him”.

Kanimozhi is being harassed as DMK is opposed to BJP’s divisive politics in south India, she said.

Charging Modi with ruling India by the "decree of fear", Banerjee said that the country has never seen such a prime minister who is feared by everyone "instead of being loved and respected".

"It is a shame that BJP is using central agencies against Opposition leaders and parties to harass them. Yesterday, the Income Tax (department), without any reason, raided Kanimozhi's house,” Banerjee said.

“Just because DMK and its leader MK Stalin are opposed to Modi and BJP, they (DMK leaders) are being unnecessarily harassed," she added at a rally in Kandi.

DMK president MK Stalin, in a statement at Chennai, had said that the raids were an outcome of “fear of a damning defeat” for BJP’s candidate Tamilisai Soundararajan in Tuticorin.

"For us, a leader is such a person who is loved and respected by people from various sections of the society. But for the first time since Independence, we have a leader like the prime minister who is ruling the country by a reign of fear," Banerjee said.

She alleged that Modi is threatening everybody and everybody is afraid of him and added, "It is a shame that a person who was baptised in politics through riots is leading the country".

Cong Cries Foul, Says I-T Raids 'Motivated'

The Congress joined Banerjee on Wednesday in accusing the Modi government of targeting Opposition leaders, and said that the people of India will give a befitting reply to the BJP in these elections.

Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, in a series of tweets, said "the news" is that nothing was found during searches in her residence.

The former finance minister alleged that the Income Tax department was taking "autocratic and partial" action in Tamil Nadu in the run up to Lok Sabha elections.

“How is it that tip off on Opposition leaders alone is received (by officials),” he wondered, in his tweet in Tamil.

He also said, "The marker of the 2019 Parliamentary elections in Tamil Nadu is the Income Tax departments autocratic and partial steps."

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, meanwhile, alleged that motivated I-T raids is the only tool left with PM Modi, and said that the people can see through this.

At the AICC briefing, when asked about the raids, Congress leader Kapil Sibal claimed that BJP is “flooded” with money and yet authorities are targeting Opposition, which is facing a cash “drought”.

"... who is being targeted, those who are suffering from drought and those who are flooded are not being targeted. That's the beauty of Indian democracy and this government," he told reporters.

Election officials had on Tuesday conducted searches at the residence of DMK leader Kanimozhi in Tuticorin in south Tamil Nadu, from where she is contesting.

Kanimozhi, while responding to the raids, had told news agency ANI: “BJP cannot prevent my success through this income tax raid. The raid is anti-democratic, deliberately planned and tested, and no document has been seized.”

Authorities had also conducted a search at a store in Theni Lok Sabha constituency on Tuesday night, following inputs about suspected cash, during which police had to open fire in the air to disperse supporters of the TTV Dhinakaran-led AMMK, who objected to the action.

During the raids, cash to the tune of Rs 1.48 crore allegedly stashed to bribe voters was seized.

The store was believed to be run by a supporter of the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam (AMMK). Tamil Nadu goes to polls on Thursday.

(With inputs from PTI)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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