As the Enforcement Directorate (ED) is set to question TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee in a coal smuggling case, the party launched an all-out attack on the BJP and central agencies on social media, with the hashtag ‘#PuppetsofBJP’.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee appeared before the ED on Friday in connection with their investigation into the coal smuggling case. The nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek reached the agency’s office at CGO Complex in Salt Lake near Kolkata around 11 am.
The campaign was kicked off by a tweet by Abhishek Banerjee himself, when he tweeted from his Kalighat residence: “It is a matter of great shame that Central Agencies are reduced to #PuppetsOfBJP.”
“Whenever BJP feels threatened, they unleash these ‘parrots’ on those who have not sold their spine or integrity!” he further said on the microblogging platform.
After that, within a span of 30 minutes, three tweets came up from the TMC, with all senior ministers and leaders posting on the matter.
TMC MLA Nayna Bandopadhae said, “Relying on @dir_ed and CBI to harass Opposition doesn’t HIDE YOUR INCOMPETENCE, @BJP4India. We shall continue fighting evil forces, and the #PuppetsOfBJP don’t scare us! ED and CBI – the two new #PuppetsOfBJP!”
TMC leader Moloy Ghatak, who is also under the ED scanner, said in a tweet, “Unable to win elections or the hearts of people, PM @narendramodi continues to embarrass the nation, harass Opposition leaders and cause unnecessary chaos. This is extremely shameful. Strongly condemn the biased approach of ED & CBI.”
Responding to the party’s allegations, Samik Bhattacharya, spokesperson of the BJP, dismissed all charges. “If this is political vendetta, they have every right to go to court. BJP has nothing to do with this.”
On Monday, while making his speech at TMCP foundation day programme, Abhishek Banerjee called the coal and cattle smuggling scams in the state as “scams of the Home Ministry” and directly accused Home Minister Amit Shah as its beneficiary.
Both Abhishek and CM Mamata Banerjee had on that day expressed apprehension that fresh summons may be issued by the agencies for making those public allegations against Shah.
The ED summons reached Abhishek within 24 hours of making those public statements, which asked him to appear for examination on Friday.
Abhishek is likely to be questioned by ED on the following matters:
– Fresh leads gathered by the agency in the last few months during its search operations and examination of suspects on the modus operendi of coal smuggling operations and money trail. The agency will try to cross check if Abhishek had any involvement in the matter.
– Cross verify the statement provided by Rujira Banerjee earlier.
– On the other hand, ED sources say they want to cross verify and figure the possibility of Abhishek’s involvement with statements which the agency has gathered by questioning senior state IPS officers in Delhi in the last week of August.
– Cross-check and verify documents concerning money trail in coal scam which Abhishek has been asked to carry on him today.
– Reaffirm Abhishek’s knowledge of money trail from illegal coal mining proceeds carried out by absconding TMC leader Vinay Mishra, his arrested brother Vikas Mishra and scam kingpin Anup Maji.