Abhishek Banerjee may appear before ED today; Suvendu may skip CID questioning
Trinamool Congress’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who happens to be the nephew of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, is likely to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Delhi today in connection with the alleged multi-crore coal smuggling scam.
Meanwhile, Suvendu Adhikari, Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Leader of Opposition in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, who has been summoned by the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the death of his security guard, is likely to skip the questioning.
“I am going to Delhi and I am ready to face any kind of investigation. If any agency can prove that I was involved in any such transaction even if it is of 10 paisa, I am ready to face the gallows. There won’t be any need for any central agency to probe. But they should first make it public,” said Banerjee before leaving for Delhi on Sunday.
Earlier, the central agency had summoned Banerjee’s wife Rujira Banerjee for questioning in the same case. Rujira Banerjee, however, expressed her inability to appear before the agency in New Delhi citing the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. She had instead requested ED officials to visit her residence in Kolkata.
The CBI’s Kolkata Anti-Corruption Branch registered a case of corruption and criminal breach of trust with regard to illegal mining and pilferage of coal from Eastern Coalfields Ltd on November 27, 2020. The ED took up the investigation based on the FIR.
Meanwhile, Adhikari has been summoned for questioning by the CID around 11am today in its headquarters in Kolkata. According to BJP leaders, he is scheduled to address an organisational meeting at Bankura, around 180km from Kolkata, at 3 pm. He is likely to skip the meeting, said a senior BJP leader.
“Ask the chief minister as she is the creator of this,” Adhikari told mediapersons on Sunday when asked whether he would appear before the CID. In another public meeting he said that the state government was trying to frighten him every day. “I am not afraid,” he said.
In July, the CID initiated a fresh probe into the death of Adhikari’s security guard who reportedly died by suicide in 2018, officials said. The victim’s wife lodged a complaint demanding a fresh probe.