West Bengal: Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee’s wife responds to CBI notice
Rujira Banerjee, the wife of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Abhishek Banerjee, responded to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), saying the sleuths may visit her residence between 11am and 3pm on Tuesday.
“Though I am unaware of the reason for me being called for questioning on the subject matter of the investigation, you may visit my residence as per your convenience between 11am and 3pm tomorrow i.e February 23, 2021,” Rujira Banerjee wrote in her letter to the CBI on Monday morning.
The CBI had, on Sunday, visited the residence of Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, to serve a notice to his wife for questioning in connection with a coal smuggling case. The agency has also summoned Rujira Banerjee’s sister Menka Gambhir for questioning in the case.
In the letter, she informed the CBI that she received the notice on Sunday but was unavailable. Rujira Banerjee has also asked the CBI to inform her about their schedule.
A CBI team reached Gambhir’s residence around noon on Monday to serve notice.
BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari alleged in a tweet on Sunday evening that Gambhir “and related parties” were “favoured” by the government while placing orders for bicycles that are given free to school students.
The CBI probe has added fuel to the political tussle between TMC and BJP prior to the polls.
To counter the TMC’s ‘Duare Sarkar’ (government at the doorstep) outreach programme, the BJP on Sunday evening started a hashtag campaign, caling it ‘Duare CBI’ (CBI at the doorstep).
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit West Bengal for a few hours on Monday to bolster the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) campaign in the poll-bound state. He is scheduled to flag off the extension of the city’s north-south Metro corridor from Noapara to Dakshineshwar along with a slew of other railway projects, and will also address a public rally in Hooghly district.
On Sunday evening, Abhishek Banerjee tweeted a photo of the notice the CBI left at his residence. “...if they think they can use these ploys to intimidate us, they are mistaken,” he wrote.
Later, chief minister Mamata Banerjee said she is not intimidated by anyone adding that “a tiger cub is not scared of fighting cats and rats”.
On Friday, a special court designated for MPs and MLAs in West Bengal had summoned Union home minister Amit Shah to appear before it either personally or through a lawyer on Monday in connection with a defamation suit filed by Abhishek Banerjee.
In August 2018, Shah allegedly made defamatory comments against Abhishek Banerjee while addressing the Yuva Swabhiman Samavesh rally of the BJP in Kolkata.
The crucial assembly elections are due in West Bengal in March-April this year and the BJP, which had made deep inroads in the state during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls by winning 18 of the 42 seats, is now targeting more than 200 of the 294 assembly seats.
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