Kolkata: The Opposition parties in West Bengal reacted storongly to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee appealing to the judiciary to be more active in protecting the institution while addressing the 14th convocation ceremony of the West Bengal National University of Judicial Sciences here on Sunday.
Reacting to Banerjee's remark that unnecessary harassment of people has increased manifold these days, CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member and senior advocate in the Calcutta High Court, Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, said that he couldn't really understand what the Chief Minister wanted to say.
"Only she (Banerjee) can understand what she means. It is true that democratic practices should be safeguarded. But at the same time, corruption cannot continue in the name of protecting democratic practices. And if legal actions are taken against corruption, it does not mean maligning social prestige. Action against corruption will have to continue in a democratic system," Bhattacharya said.
State Congress president and Lok Sabha member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury accused the Chief Minister of creating indirect pressure on the judiciary.
"The deprived teachers in West Bengal have knocked the doors of the judiciary seeking justice. The judiciary has so far stood by them, at least what is evident from its recent directives and orders. But the ruling party in West Bengal is not comfortable with that. The Chief Minister is herself against democratic practices," Chowdhury said.
BJP's former national secretary Rahul Sinha said that while the Chief Minister is talking about democratic practices, her own party is facing an immense crisis.
"One professor was sent behind the bars for a social media post against the Chief Minister. She is not even sparing the youth who are democratically protesting against teachers' recruitment irregularities. The Chief Minister never attends national events convened by the Union government. And she is now so worried about federal democracy," Sinha asked.
Reacting to the Opposition's comments, Trinamool Congress spokesman Kunal Ghosh said that the Chief Minister has rightly pointed out that the judiciary is the final shelter for justice for the common people.
"What is there to criticise about this? The reactions of the Opposition leaders are not acceptable," Ghosh said.