Fight politically, not with ED: Mamata tells BJP after nephew’s grilling

The ED filed the money laundering case after studying a November, 2020 FIR of the CBI alleging a multi-crore coal pilferage scam in and around Asansol

Abhishek Banerjee is nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and represents the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat. File Photo

Hours after the Enforcement Directorate summoned Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee, nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and his wife, Mamata alleged the BJP was using Central agencies against the family.

The couple has been called for questioning in a money-laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam in the state. While Abhishek has been asked to appear before the agency in Delhi on Sept 6, his wife has been asked to appear before the ED on Sept 1, media reports said.

The Chief Minister challenged the BJP to fight against her party politically. “Why are you unleashing the ED against us? Against your one case, we will raise bagfuls. We know how to fight back. We know the history of Gujarat,” said Mamata.

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Abhishek Banerjee represents the Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha seat and is also the national general secretary of the Trinamool Congress.

The case, filed under criminal sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), was filed by the ED after studying a November, 2020 FIR of the Central Bureau of Investigation that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to the Eastern Coalfields Ltd mines in the state’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.

Taking note of the CBI’s FIR, the ED had initiated money-laundering probe into alleged theft in the government coalfields, carried out in connivance with public servants, in West Bengal.

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The CBI had questioned Rujira Banerjee in the case on February 23, days ahead of the Assembly polls, in Kolkata. Her Sister and family have also been questioned in the case.

Local state operative Anup Majhi alias Lala is alleged to be the prime suspect in the case, PTI reported.

The ED had earlier claimed that Abhishek Banerjee was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. He has denied the charges.

Others linked to the case have also been told to appear on different dates in September, the ED said.

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