Slamming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in an event held in Kalighat on Saturday, 28 August, stated that "when the BJP government in Delhi cannot compete with us in politics, they use agencies."
The comments come on the heels of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoning her nephew and Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in connection with a money laundering and coal scam case, news agency PTI reported. The ED has summoned Abhishek Banerjee's wife Rujira Naroola Banerjee as well.
"Why are you unleashing the ED against us. Against your one case we will raise bagful. We know how to fight back. We know the history of Gujarat."Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal
While Abhishek Banerjee has been summoned for 6 September, Rujira Naroola Banerjee has been called on 1 September, ANI reported. Their lawyer, Sanjay Basu, has been asked to appear before the ED on 3 September.
"BJP thinks it can put pressure on us using ED. But we shall emerge stronger."Abhishek Banerjee, TMC National General Secretary
The ED's investigation began after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a First Information Report (FIR) in the case.
Along with the two, IPS officers Shyam Singh and Gyanwant Singh have also been summoned by the probe agency, NDTV reported.
Back in February, the CBI had questioned Rujira Naroola Banerjee in connection with the coal scam case.
Abhishek Banerjee's sister-in-law, Menaka Gambhir, had also been questioned by the CBI in February. The developments had come ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections, in which the TMC scored an emphatic victory over the BJP.
What Is the West Bengal Coal Scam?
The Bengal coal smuggling case involves the mining and smuggling of coal worth Rs 20,000 crore across the borders of the states to Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Bihar, allegedly with the help of government officials and politicians.
In November 2020, the CBI registered an FIR against Anup Majhi and his deputy Joydeb Mondol, who are allegedly central to the entire operation.
Mahji had reportedly confessed to the authorities that he had been routinely making payments to the politicians in West Bengal for the last 20 years so that the operation would be conducted without any hurdles.
Where Does the Alleged Involvement of the TMC Come In?
The TMC's involvement first came into picture when the CBI raided the party's youth leader Vinay Mishra's house on 31 December 2020. However, Mishra was not home. Thereafter, the CBI issued several summons to Mishra which he failed to appear for, resulting in an arrest warrant against him.
The agency is also investigating Rujira Naroola Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee's sister-in-law Menaka Gambhir after a mobile phone, recovered from the raids conducted on 19 Febraury, had details of bank accounts linked to Rujira Naroola Banerjee. Sources to The Quint stated that the phone allegedly also had WhatsApp chats showing transactions to one “Menka” on 3 November 2018.
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