New Delhi: Hours after the Chandrababu Naidu government in Andhra Pradesh withdrew the ‘general consent’ accorded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct raids and carry out investigations in the state, Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government also revoked the free pass or general consent to country’s top probe agency. Banerjee had earlier backed Andhra Pradesh’s CM move saying, “He (Chandrababu Naidu) has done the right thing in saying he wouldn’t allow CBI in his state. The BJP can be ‘note changer’, but it’s not a game changer.”

Speaking to reporters, AP Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N China Rajappa had said, “The Andhra Pradesh government withdrew the “general consent” accorded to the CBI to conduct raids and carry out investigations in the state due to the recent allegations against the top officials of country’s premier investigation agency.”

“In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act, 1946, the government hereby withdraws the general consent accorded (in GO Ms 109) to all the members of the Delhi Special Police Establishment to exercise the powers and jurisdiction under the said Act in the state of Andhra Pradesh,” AP Government Order (GO) stated.

Following the move, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party lambasted Andhra Pradesh government and called their order a “mala fide exercise to protect the corrupt”.

“The decision to withdraw general consent to the CBI for investigating various cases under the Central acts is a mala fide exercise of its executive power to protect acts of corruption, financial embezzlement and other acts of criminality,” BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao had stated. He had also criticised Mamta Banerjee for supporting Naidu, saying “It’s not surprising to see a new coalition of the corrupt parties” taking shape in the country.

Responding to the developments in Andhra Pradesh, the investigation agency said that it would examine the withdrawal and “take steps accordingly“. “We haven’t received Andhra Pradesh (AP) Govt’s notification revoking ‘General consent’ to the CBI for probing officials of Central Govt. in the territory of AP. Once we receive it, we will examine it and take steps accordingly,” a CBI spokesperson said.