Urging President Pranab Mukherjee to intervene to "save" the people from the "brink of disaster" following demonetisation, the Chief Minister of the eastern Indian state of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee on Monday alleged that the Narendra Modi government had turned the Central Bureau of Investigation into the "Conspiracy Bureau of India".
"They (Modi government) have turned the CBI into the Conspiracy Bureau of India," she said, referring to the agency's arrest of TMC MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Pal in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam.
"I have been an MP for 23 years and have seen many governments, but have never seen such a government which only sees conspiracy if someone protests," the Trinamool Congress chief said, claiming that the situation was "worse than that of the Emergency days of 1975".
"We do not care about that. If he can, Modi babu may put all of us in jail, but we will not stop talking for the people," she said at Burdwan while inaugurating the 'Mati Utsav' (Soil Festival).
"Even if they take us from Bengal to Odisha, Delhi or Uttar Pradesh, it does not matter. Every place is our country," Banerjee said.
"But, when the people react, where will Modi babu go?," she asked.
"Some small (BJP) leaders are now talking big. These people will flee to America, London or Switzerland, but we will remain here," Banerjee claimed.
"I urge the President, who is the Constitutional head of the country, that if some government, through arbitrary decisions, takes the country to the brink of disaster, as the protector of the Constitution, give protection to the people and save them," she said.
"Famine has started. Indications of the beginning of the famine are coming. So, save the people. If people do not survive, then nothing will happen," Banerjee said.
Urging the common people to rise in protest, the chief minister said, "There will be some hardship, but someone has to bell the cat. Trinamool Congress will do that."
"We will take care of all the hardships that may befall us owing to our protests," she added.
Earlier, in a series of tweets, she demanded lifting of the restrictions imposed from time to time by the government as regards demonetisation.
"Restrictions should be removed. Hardships being faced by millions due to #DeMonetisation," she said in a tweet.
"Trinamool Congress is organising nationwide protest against Modi babu's shameless flop-show #NoteBandi," she wrote in another tweet.
Banerjee claimed that her party and its leaders were being "victimised" for protesting against the demonetisation of high-value currency notes and its fallout.--PTI