The nephew of Bangladeshi Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and MP Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee will be questioned next week by the Enforcement Directorate in an alleged money laundering case linked to the Bangladesh coal scam. Mr Banerjee linked the subpoena to the BJP’s recent victory in parliamentary elections in four states and questioned the rejection of his Supreme Court appeal against the Delhi interrogation.
“I’m going to the Supreme Court. That road is open to me. And we have faith in the country’s highest justice system,” he said.
Mr Banerjee said he was going to Delhi, although his doctor had recommended bed rest after a recent eye surgery.
Speaking to reporters in Kolkata before his departure this afternoon, Mr Banerjee said he had appealed to the Delhi High Court and said he should be questioned in Kolkata rather than Delhi as the case is related to Bengal .
“There is an ED (Enforcement Directorate) office in Kolkata. You can call me as often as you want. I will be there because I have nothing to hide,” he said.
After a lengthy hearing, the court had initially ruled. Then on March 10, the BJP won in four states and on March 11, its request was rejected, he said.
“I have faith in the judiciary, but this cannot be a coincidence,” he added.
“The people of Bengal have defeated them and expelled the outsiders from Bengal… they are annoyed because we have not surrendered… we will not surrender… this battle will have to go on… we will see until the end,” added Mr Banerjee, who is a senior leader in Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress.
The case concerns alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from Eastern Coalfield Limited’s Kunustoria and Kajoria coalfields. There were allegations that the coal mafia regularly paid bribes to leaders of Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress. The theft results in loss of revenue for the Center and the states in the thousands of crores.
Mr Banerjee appeared for questioning in Delhi last September.
The chief minister of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has accused the center of unleashing its agencies on her cousin and his family. She has also claimed that some BJP ministers are “hand in glove” with the coal mafia.