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CBI vs Bengal: Tejashwi Yadav, Kanimozhi visit Mamata at dharna site, express solidarity

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Kolkata, Feb 04: Expressing solidarity, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav and DMK leader Kanimozhi met Mamata Banerjee at the stage where she has been sitting on 'Save the Constitution' dharna since 9 pm last night.

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee with DMK MP Kanimozhi (L) and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav. PTI photo

Tejashwi and Kanimozhi spoke with Banerjee and enquired about the incidents since Sunday evening. Both of them also expressed solidarity with Banerjee.

The development comes against the backdrop of Banerjee beginning a sit-in protest at a Kolkata landmark on Sunday night over the CBI's attempt to question the Kolkata Police chief in connection with chit fund scams, insisting it stifled the spirit of "Constitution and federalism".

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"It is political conspiracy to use the CBI against political opponents. Narendra Modi is elder to us and he should understand that PM comes and goes but the institutions of this great country remains. Whoever will not compromise with BJP they will be harassed by the CBI and other agencies," Yadav said.

He said if all political parties don't unite then the people of this country "will not forgive" them. DMK leader Kanimozhi while expressing solidarity with Banerjee, said all the opposition parties should work towards staying united and work towards ensuring "that BJP's dream of returning to power" doesn't get fulfilled.

"I would say that this episode was Modiji's pre-election gift to Mamata Banerjee as the BJP has realised after January 19 rally that they won't return to power after Lok Sabha polls," she said.

The BJP and the RSS "believe in divisive politics and in order to oust BJP, we should work together", she said.

Banerjee, while thanking both the leaders, said all the opposition parties are united and will fight "till Modi is ousted from power". "If we have to save India we have to oust Modi (Desh ko Bachana hain toh Modi toh Bhagana hain)," she said.

TMC spokesperson Derek O'Brien said that 22 parties have extended their support to the protest against the Centre.

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"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, TDP's N Chandrababu Naidu, RJD's Tejaswi Yadav, DMK's Kanimozhi have expressed their desire to join the protest and are going to Kolkata. Others like Samajwadi Party's leader Kiranmay Nanda have already visited the protest site," said Derek.

The chief minister has been sitting on a dharna since 8.30pm from February 3 against the CBI's attempts to question Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in connection with multi-crore chit fund scams.

"It is not a TMC dharna. There is not even a single TMC flag at the protest site. The CM has received overwhelming support from opposition leaders. Between 8 pm and 11 pm, the CM received calls from so many of them.

"Congress President Rahul Gandhi, BSP supremo Mayawati, SP president Akhilesh Yadav, RJD's Tejaswi Yadav, TDP's N Chandrababu Naidu, DMK chief MK Stalin and AAP convenor Arvind Kejriwal have all supported the protest and spoken to the CM," he told reporters on Parliament premises.

On the controversy over the presence of the Kolkata police commissioner at the protest site, Derek said Kumar was present to show solidarity with other officers, as the dharna aimed at strengthening the administration.

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