Coal Scam: CBI Probes Abhishek Banerjee’s Wife, CM Visited Earlier

CBI is said to be investigating Rujira Naroola Banerjee on the basis of a mobile phone recovered on 19 February. 

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India
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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also paid a visit to her nephew’s residence on Tuesday. 
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A team of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday, 23 February, questioned Rujira Naroola Banerjee, the wife of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee, for an hour at their residence in Kolkata in connection with a coal scam case.

Just minutes before the questioning, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to her nephew's residence and left soon afterwards.

What Evidence is CBI Going By?

According to CBI sources, the agency is investigating Rujira Naroola Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee's sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir on the basis of a mobile phone recovered on 19 February during coal scam-related raids across West Bengal.

Sources in the investigation agency further told The Quint that the mobile phone had details of a bank account in the name of Rujira Naroola in the Siam Paragon branch of a Kasikornbank in Thailand. It also allegedly had WhatsApp chats showing transactions made to one "Menka" on 3 November 2018.

On Monday, Menaka Gambir was questioned by the CBI for over three hours over her assets and bank accounts abroad. The agency was expected to follow a similar line of questioning in Rujira Banerjee's case too.

Rujira Banerjee’s Response to CBI Notice

On Monday, Rujira Naroola Banerjee had responded to the notice from the CBI served to her, saying she would appear for the investigation, even though she was "unaware of the reason for me being called for questioning or the subject matter of the investigation".

"You may visit my residence, as per your convenience, between 11 am and 3 pm tomorrow, ie, 23 February 2021," she had said.

Menaka Gambhir was also served a notice for questioning in the same case and was questioned at her residence on Monday.

The developments come just months ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections, in which the ruling Trinamool Congress is pitched against an emergent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

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