CBI row exposes tussle between centre-states

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. (Collage of PTI Photos)

The massive show of strength between Centre and Mamata Banerjee government over the issue of the CBI investigation against the Kolkata top cop is yet another grim reminder of the tension in the federal structure of the country.

These tensions arise from time to time when both the Centre and a state are assertive and rivals.

Be it Arvind Kejriwal's Delhi or Chandrababu Naidu-led Andhra Pradesh, the Modi's full majority government at the Centre has been at loggerheads with strong chief ministers from regional parties.

Just nine months before the latest Mamata-Modi row hit the national political discourse culminating into West Bengal Chief Minister’s sit-in, Kejriwal had staged a nine-day sit-in at the residence of Delhi Lieutenant Governor (LG) Anil Baijal in June last year, alleging that the Centre was not allowing the Delhi government to do its job and that the LG at the behest of Centre was provoking the strike of IAS officers against Delhi government.

The nine-day sit, in fact, capped a years-long bitter tug-of-war between the Centre and the Kejriwal government.

A similar story of simmering has been there in the case of Mamata and Modi, which got a fillip after her government tried to block the BJP from holding 'rath yatra' in the state, citing apprehension that BJP might use the 'yatra' to rake up communal tensions.

On Saturday, a news channel carried out a sting operation quoting state intelligence officers that there was no specific input from the district level that communal tension would be stirred if such yatras are allowed.

The BJP was quick to latch on to the sting operation and called the Mamata government "fascist".

BJP chief Amit Shah said this shows there was no such real threat as Mamata government cited and it only shows that she is “scared” of BJP’s growing popularity.

Despite the sting operation, the Trinamool Congress stuck to its stand saying it has reports from the grassroots that BJP could trigger communal riots using the rath yatra.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who last year walked out of the NDA alliance, has also been talking about the "highhandedness" of the Modi government.

H D Kumaraswamy, heading the Congress-JDS coalition in Karnataka, has released audio clips alleging that the BJP is out to poach its MLAs by offering bribes. Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called Kumaraswamy a "clerk".

In the first three years of the Modi government, the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akihilesh Yadav also had a unsavoury relationship with the Centre, when the then UP chief minister often accused the Centre of giving a "step-motherly treatment" to Uttar Pradesh.

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CBI row exposes tussle between centre-states

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