The misuse of investigating agencies is not new. Soon after the founding of the Republic, Nehru had targeted a prominent industrialist who was his fierce critic. Having said that, it seems the government does not help its cause when in the midst of an intense election campaign for the West Bengal Assembly the central investigating agencies should summon senior leaders of the Trinamool Congress in long-pending cases.
Last week, the CBI summoned a minister in the Mamata Banerjee government to appear in connection with a Ponzi scam in which tens of thousands of ordinary people had lost their meagre savings. A few other TMC leaders, including MPs and MLAs, were summoned by the ED in regard to on-going probes into chit-fund bribes and other such scandals.
There is no denying merit in these cases which were registered after a great public hue and cry following the collapse of the fly-by-night money-multiplying scams. There is also little doubt that the scamsters had enticed ruling party bigwigs to con the simple folk who usually fall prey to the lure of such easy money cons.
But the question is why the agencies had failed to complete the investigations even after registering the cases three-four years ago. And, secondly, if they had to summon the TMC leaders, why at the height of the election campaign? Even the pretence of being independent seems to have been abandoned. This is unfortunate.