Highlights:

  • Today, Mamata Banerjee made an unplanned visit to her nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s residence.
  • Moments after the convoy of Banerjee left, a team of CBI comprising seven to eight officers arrived to question Rudra Banerjee. 
  • Yesterday, Rudra Banerjee had written to the CBI that she was unaware of the reason for the question but said is ready for questioning today.
  • Abhishek Banerjee said he is being targeted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the state elections.
  • On February 2, Mr. Adhikari at a public rally accused Abhishek’s wife.
  • Yesterday, Abhishek Banerjee’s sister in law Menaka Gambhir was also questioned by the CBI at her South Kolkata residence for three hours. 

West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee made an unplanned visit to her nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s residence today before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned his wife in the controversial coal smuggling case. 

The Minister met with her nephew, who is a Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP, and his family for less than 10 minutes before emerging from the apartment accompanied by Abhishek Banerjee’s daughter – her grand-niece. The girl was seen going back inside. Moments after the convoy of Banerjee left, a team of CBI comprising seven to eight officers arrived at Abhishek Banerjee’s residence to question Rujira Banerjee, the wife of MP Abhishek Banerjee.

Yesterday, Rujira Banerjee had written to the CBI that she was unaware of the reason for the question but said is ready for questioning today. She had written, “Though I am unaware of the reason for me being called for questioning or the subject matter of the investigation, you may visit my residence as per your convenience between 11 AM and 3 PM tomorrow, i.e. 23 February 2021.”

In a tweet, the niece of Bengal CM said he is being targeted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the state elections and also shared the notice which the Central Investigation left for his wife Rujira at her home on Sunday. He had tweeted, “…if they think they can use these ploys to intimidate us, they are mistaken. We are not the ones who would ever be cowed down”.

“Some leaders from Delhi are saying they know how to break the Bengalis’ spine. Just let them try as they have tried in the past and even today…I am not scared of any threats or intimidation. Don’t try to frighten us with threats of jail. We overcame all that a long time ago. We who have fought against guns, why should we be afraid of fighting against rats and mice? It is not so easy to break our spines. I am taught to fight like a warrior and not be scared of cats and rats,” stated Mamata Banerjee at a public event, hours after the CBI went to her niece’s residence on Sunday. 

Yesterday, when PM Modi came to inaugurate several railway projects in the poll-bound state, he did not make any direct reference to the coal scam or the CBI or Mamata Banerjee’s nephew. Instead, he launched a broad-based attack on what he called corruption and appeasement by Mamata Banerjee’s party.

Ex TMC Minister Suvendu Adhikari, now a BJP Minister, launched a vicious attack on Abhishek Banerjee, saying it is only the beginning and more will come. He added, “The Trinamool was boasting of Duare Sarkar…or the govt at your door. Now it is a case of Duare CBI or CBI at your door.”

On February 2, Mr. Adhikari at a public rally accused Abhishek’s wife – e used her maiden name to call her “Madam Naroola” — of operating a bank account in Thailand where huge amounts of money were allegedly transferred by kingpins of the illegal coal mining and theft scam.

The investigation agency said it is investigating allegations that leaders of the Trinamool Congress were paid kickbacks by the illegal coal mining mafia. Yesterday, Abhishek Banerjee’s sister in law Menaka Gambhir was also questioned by the CBI at her South Kolkata residence for three hours.

Last year on November 27, the CBI had filed a case into alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfield Limited. As per sources in the CBI, there was a money transfer from accounts linked to the coal theft case to the bank accounts of these two members of the Abhishek Banerjee family.

On December 31, the Central Agency raided the residence of Vinay Mishra, the General Secretary of TMC’s youth headed by Abhishek Banerjee. Ever since then, Vinay Mishra is said to be missing. The BJP accuses Abhishek Banerjee, the MP from Diamond Harbour, of involvement in the coal scam and has often referred to him as the “coal thief”.

The TMC Party said the BJP is misusing the Central Agency to pressure CM Mamata Banerjee and her family in the acrimonious run-up to the West Bengal elections due by May. 

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