Mamata backs Kanimozhi, accuses Modi of harassing opposition

Kandi (West Bengal)


West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday stood by DMK leader K. Kanimozhi whose residence was searched by the Income Tax officials a day ago and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of "harassing" all the opposition leaders.

"National leaders are loved by people. But Modi is the first such leader whom everybody is scared of. He is using the CBI, the ED, and other central agencies to intimidate people... even yesterday, they (Centre) sent the Income Tax department to the house of (DMK chief) M.K. Stalin's sister Kanimozhi to conduct raids," Banerjee said at a public rally here in West Bengal's Murshidabad district.

Claiming the Modi regime is taking action against all senior opposition leaders, she sought to give a state by state account. 

"He is harrasing (Telugu Desam Party chief) Chandrababu Naidu and YSR Congress party founder Jaganmohan Reddy in Andhra Pradesh, M.K. Stalin in Tamil Nadu and (Janata Dal-Secular leader) H.D. Kumaraswamy in Karnataka.

"Even Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Mayawati ji or Akhilesh (Yadav) are not spared. Lalu Prasad has been put to jail. He is harassing everyone. People of Bengal are still living in peace because we are here," Banerjee said.

Income Tax officials and the Election Commission's static surveillance team carried out a joint search at the house of DMK Lok Sabha candidate Kanimozhi in Tamil Nadu's Thoothukodi on Tuesday, just two days before the polls.

Kanimozhi, who is contesting against the BJP's state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan in the Thootukodi Lok Sabha constituency, termed the raids as anti-democratic, deliberately planned and tested but said BJP cannot prevent her for winning in the ongoing elections. IANS