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#OurObsession: Mamata Banerjee Reminded Everyone of Her Street Fighting History with Her Stand-Off With CBI

This week, Mamata Banerjee, Bengal CM and chief of Trinamool Congress, mounted a vitriolic attack on the Centre when she detained 40 Central Bureau of Investigation officers who had come to arrest the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar on Feb 4. The attack intensified as she started a ‘dharna‘ to “save the constitution” and protest againt the Narendra Modi-led government’s alleged attack on democracy.

For much of the following week, Didi dominated news cycles and social media trends. The street histrionics reminded many of Didi’s past as a ‘street fighter’ in Bengal. With the roadside dharna and the adroitness with which she pulled it off, Didi reminded everyone including the BJP of her roots and her past as an aggressive Oppsoition leader in West Bengal who brought down a three-decades old Left Front government in Bengal in 2011.

After Banerjee thwarted the CBI’s attempts to arrest Rajeev Kumar, whom it was investigating in connection to the chit fund scams, CBI took the matter up with Supreme Court. The stalemate between the CBI and the Bengal government reached a temporary reprieve when the SC asked the CBI to proceed and interrogate Kumar. While Banerjee described the SC order as a moral victory, fresh reports indicate that the Centre is mounting pressure on Banerjee to initiate action against Kumar for his alleged “indiscipline” and violation of service rules.
With Didi and the Bharatiya Janata Party already in loggerheads regarding the issue of the party’s campaigning in Bengal with several incidents of political rivalry between both party cadres getting violent and bloody, many anticipated that the Centre may impose President’s Rule in Bengal. Following the chaos in the state, social media became a hot bed of memes. Some were in favour of Mamata Banerjee while others mocked her but they were definitely all about her.

In fact, the tensions between BJP and TMC translated into a popularity contest on social media with many including BJP leader and actor Paresh Rawal participating in the war.

While the CBI vs Didi fight seems to be over for now, this is definitely not the end of it. Both the warring sides seem relentless. Shantanu Mukherjee writes that the charged political atmosphere prevailing across Bengal does not seem to be fizzling out anytime soon as the political opponents of the Bengal CM and her party Trinamool Congress (TMC) are now making frenzied moves and, as part of the general election strategy, stepped up their attack on the Mamata Banerjee led government.

The nation will closely be watching the Bengal government and its ‘street fighter’ CM until lok Sabha elections 2019.

The Week in Buzz

Gully Boy co-opting the ‘Azadi’ chant for commercial purposes raised eyebrows.

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A CRPF jawan was hailed as the face of humanity for donating blood to save the life of an injured Naxal militant.

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Heavy hailstorm in Delhi NCR made Noida look like a hill station.

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AR Rahman got trolled for his daughter’s burqa-clad photo. He responded by tweeting #FreedomToChoose.

Joshua Trump, a bullied child and US President Donald Trump’s namesake, was invited to attend his Union speech. The kid fell asleep.

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In a progressive wedding in Kolkata, the father of the bride refused to do kanyadaan and the wedding was conducted by four women priests!

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Updated: February 11, 2019 — 9:02 pm
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