The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) launched a searing attack on Mamata Banerjee on Monday, saying the West Bengal chief minister was guilty of 'murdering democracy'.
"It's murder of democracy. We want to ask Mamata Banerjee why is she staging dharna, who does she want to shield? Police Commissioner or herself?, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
"Whatever is happening in Kolkata and West Bengal is one of a kind. Never before was an investigating team taken into custody by police," Javadekar added.
Meanwhile Banerjee, who is holding a sit-in protesting against the CBI's move to question Kolkata police commissioner, said she will continue her protest until the 'country is saved'.
The face-off between the CBI and the West Bengal government took a drastic turn on Sunday evening after a CBI team arrived in Kolkata to question the city police chief Rajeev Kumar.
As events escalated rapidly, the CBI sleuths were arrested by the Kolkata police, while the centre deployed Central Reserve Police Force troopers at the local CBI headquarters.
The chief minister rushed to the police chief's home and later staged the sit-in after accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah of using CBI for political vendetta.
BJP came out with a full frontal attack on Monday, saying the Bengal chief minister was merely protecting an officer who knew all details about the Sharadha chit fund scam. Javadekar said the CM was intent on stopping the CBI from even asking the officer 'a few questions'.
"It is unprecedented that a chief minister should sit on a dharna to protect a police officer. It is unprecedented that the CBI officers who had gone there to conduct an investigation should be detained," Javadekar said.
Javadekar did not spare the opposition leaders who supported Banerjee either. "Opposition parties have supported Mamata Banerjee. Who are these people? They are out on bail. Such people are standing together. This is not Mahagathbandhan, they are divided by vision and united by corruption. The corrupt are standing together," he said.
Earlier, Banerjee had said various opposition leaders, including Akhilesh Yadav (Samajwadi Party), Mayawati (BSP), Tejashwi Yadav (RJD), Chandrababu Naidu (TDP), Omar Abdullah (NC), Ahmed Patel (Congress) and M K Stalin (DMK), had called her to extend solidarity and support.
'They are trying to organise a coup'
On Sunday evening, officers from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrived at the official residence of the commissioner in the heart of the city to question him. However, three deputy commissioners of city police arrived at the scene soon after and bundled the CBI team into a vehicle. They were taken to the Shakespeare Sarani police station but were released later in the night.
Banerjee later said the CBI officers came to Kumar's residence without any search warrant. "You are coming to the commissioner's residence without any warrant to conduct a secret operation. It is (nothing but) instruction from Narendra Modi and Amit Shah," she said.
"There is a constitutional break-down and they are trying to organise a coup to destabilise the state. They are trying to run a parallel administration," she told reporters outside the Commissioner's house, the CM added.