The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on August 30 issued a summon to Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee in the coal pilferage scam. The ED has asked the Diamond Harbour MP to appear before its Kolkata office on September 2.
The summon comes a day after both party chairperson Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee, while speaking at a public meeting, had expressed apprehension that summons might be issued from Central investigating agencies to key leaders of the party.
The Trinamool Congress in a series of tweets targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Central agency. “After every successful show of AITC’s organizational strength, @BJP4India gets rattled into action. Our leaders are being summoned by the @dir_ed yet again. This shameful attempt to cow us down will not work! Our integrity will shine through your slander!,” the TMC tweeted from its official handle.
The West Bengal’s ruling party also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, accusing him of being “vengeful” and “petty”.
“Astounding how the @dir_ed is always BJP-fied! Mr PM, we’re wondering what makes you SO VENGEFUL, SO PETTY? Unable to accept the love that people have for the entire Trinamool Congress family, you send ED after our leaders, as soon as BENGAL REJECTS YOU. Give it up already!,” the TMC tweeted.
Addressing a gathering of the party’s student wing, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said “Abhishek has made a good speech today. It can happen that they can send him a notice tomorrow.”
Mr. Banerjee has also spoken on similar lines and said that after the mega gathering in the next few days something major will happen as the BJP cannot fight the TMC politically and was using the Central investigation agencies.
Summons have also been issued to Mr. Banerjee’s sister-in-law Monica Gambhir to appear before the ED in Delhi on September 5. She has approached the Calcutta High Court seeking that she may be allowed to appear before the agency in Kolkata.
In July the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed charge sheet in the coal pilferage scam against 41 persons accusing them of fraudulently misappropriating coal from the coal reserve of leasehold areas under the dominion of ECL (Eastern Coalfields Limited) and also from the coal stock parked in the railway sidings for sale and supply. Mr. Banerjee was not named in the charge sheet which pressed charges against former general managers, former chief managers, former security and other officials of ECL.
The summons by the ED also comes at a time when the TMC is raffled with allegations of corruption after the arrest of its two party heavyweights — former secretary general Partha Chatterjee in a recruitment scam and Anubrata Mondal in cattle smuggling scam.