Coal Smuggling Scam: Enforcement Directorate summons TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee

The summon comes right after both party Chief Mamta Banerjee and Abhishek expressed apprehension in a public meeting that a summon may be issued to important party leaders by central investigating agencies.

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Member of Parliament and General Secretary of TMC, Abhishek Banerjee was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate over the coal smuggling scam case.

The summon comes right after both party Chief Mamta Banerjee and Abhishek expressed apprehension in a public meeting that a summon may be issued to important party leaders by central investigating agencies.

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 said “Abhishek has made a good speech today. They can send him a notice tomorrow.”

The TMC cannot be defeated politically by the BJP, so it is turning to the Central investigating agencies, according to Mr Banerjee, who earlier made similar remarks. After the mega-meeting in the coming days, he said, something significant will occur.

Monica Gambhir, Mr Banerjee’s sister-in-law, has also received a summons to appear before the ED on September 5 in Delhi. To be permitted to appear before the agency in Kolkata, she has petitioned the Calcutta High Court.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a charge sheet against 41 individuals in the coal pilferage scam in July, accusing them of defrauding and misappropriating coal from the reserve of leasehold areas under the control of ECL (Eastern Coalfields Limited) as well as from the coal stock parked in the railway sidings for sale and supply. The document that included accusations against former general managers, former top managers, former security, and other ECL personnel did not include Abhishek Banerjee.

The ED’s summons also comes at a time when the TMC is being dogged by accusations of corruption following the arrest of two of its top figures: Anubrata Mondal in a livestock smuggling case and former secretary general Partha Chatterjee in the West Bengal SSC scam