New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The issue of raids by CBI at the office of a secretary to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal rose in parliament with the opposition attacking the government on the issue and Trinamool Congress members terming such action unprecedented.
Several opposition leaders also slammed the Narendra Modi government outside parliament, despite Finance Minister Arun Jaitley telling the members in both houses that the offices of Kejriwal have not been raided nor does the investigation relate to him.
The Rajya Sabha saw repeated adjournments after the opposition members created ruckus over the Central Bureau of Investigation raids as well as convening of the Arunachal Pradesh assembly session by the governor.
Trinamool member Derek O’Brien raised the issue of the raids in the Rajya Sabha in the pre-lunch session and alleged that Kejriwal’s office was targeted.
“This was unprecedented in the history of modern India,” he said.
Responding to the allegations, Jaitley sought to clarify that the CBI raid was not against Kejriwal, but against an official in his office, “and that too in a matter prior to his becoming chief minister”.
After the two brief adjournments, O’Brien again raised the issue of the raids, and party members, shouting slogans against Narendra Modi government, gathered near the chairman’s seat.
When the house met at 2 p.m. in the post lunch session, Janata Dal-United and Trinamool members again raised the issue.
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha in the post-lunch session by Trinamool MP Saugata Roy who said that “not only religious intolerance but political intolerance is affecting the government badly.”
“They said that they were looking for the papers of principal secretary to the CM. But the CM himself has complained that his own files were rifled through,” he said.
“If the CBI is used as a tool and as an instrument to raid the chief minister’s office, I think it is both a matter of shame and a matter of concern,” Roy said, adding “It is a serious attack on the federal polity of the country.”
In response, Jaitley said the member should not get misled by what is said outside.
The CBI searches also evoked sharp reactions outside the parliament with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee terming it “unprecedented”.
“Sealing of a chief minister’s office is unprecedented. I am shocked,” Banerjee tweeted.
Senior Congress leader and former minister Kamal Nath said: “This very much goes against the spirit of federalism,” while JD-U chief Sharad Yadav said that they should have taken Kejriwal into confidence.
The Congress, in a press conference, condemned the CBI searches saying it was yet another example of so-called cooperative federalism under the Modi government, but also targeted Kejriwal.