West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, on Monday, demanded total autonomy for all the central probe agencies to free them from political influences.
"The manner in which the central probe agencies are utilised by the Union government and the ruling party against opposition leaders for political vendetta is against the democratic nature of the country. So, I demand that total autonomy should be given to all central probe agencies and free them from the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister's Office or the office of the Union Home Minister. Only the salary for the staff should be paid by the Union government as it happens in case of autonomous bodies," she told media persons here.
Banerjee claimed that never in the past have central agencies have been misused so much as is done by the current Union government, and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav is the latest victim of this trend.
Reacting to the Chief Minister's statement, BJP spokesman Shamik Bhattacharya said that Banerjee can never prove her allegations that the central probe agencies have been misused in West Bengal. "In West Bengal, the Calcutta High Court has consecutively ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in so many cases. The BJP or the Union government have no role in that," he said.
Earlier, while addressing the media persons, the Chief Minister claimed that West Bengal is giving the highest state tax rebate on petrol among the different non-BJP ruled states. "Now after the reduction in central tax deduction by Rs 8 a litre for petrol, the total state tax deduction on the same count in case of West Bengal has reached Rs 2.80 per litre of petrol, as against Rs 2.41 in case of Kerala, Rs 2.48 in case of Rajasthan and Rs 2.08 in case of Maharashtra," she said.
Admitting that the BJP-ruled states are given higher state tax rebates, the Chief Minister said that these states can provide even higher rebates, since the Union government does not hold back dues to these states under various heads as they do in case of the opposition-ruled states like West Bengal.
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