Trinamul Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday accused the BJP government at the Centre of practising politics of vendetta and repeated his vow of hanging himself if there was evidence of corruption worth even 10 paise against him.
Trinamul’s Number Two issued the stern statement at the Calcutta airport before departing for New Delhi, where he was summoned to appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday in connection with a money-laundering case linked to alleged coal pilferage in Bengal.
“My stand remains unchanged, as in the past. I have said this repeatedly at public meetings, that if any central agency is able to show before the public any evidence against me, then there will be no need to unleash the CBI or the ED against me,” said Abhishek.
“So much is being alleged about a supposedly large scam, all sorts of numbers, from Rs 100 crore to Rs 1,000 crore are being cited. If they can furnish evidence of a transaction of even 10 paise, let them come out with it before the people, then there will be no need for these central agencies against me. Let them get the noose ready and let me know, I will readily hang myself,” the Diamond Harbour MP added.
“I had said this in the past, I am saying this again today. I am willing to face any and every kind of investigation.”
The ED had summoned Mamata Banerjee’s nephew and his wife, Rujira, for questioning to Delhi.
Rujira, who had been asked to appear before the ED on September 1, hadcited her inability to travel to the national capital amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Rujira —questioned earlier by the CBI in the case at her residence — had also said she is the mother of two children, and travelling to Delhi would expose them to grave risk. She asked the agency to question her at her residence in south Calcutta.
“They (the BJP) were routed in the election. Unable to contest politically with the Trinamul Congress, now they have resumed practicing the politics of vendetta,” said Abhishek.
“They have no work other than unleashing the central probe agencies to hound political opponents and thereby further their own political agenda,” he added. “But why is nothing being made public? A Calcutta case, I am being summoned to Delhi. I am going there now.”
Abhishek also demanded answers on why “those” — apparently referring to Trinamul turncoat Suvendu Adhikari who is now in the BJP — seen accepting money on camera were not being similarly hounded by central agencies.
“Those seen on the screen, taking money, without any hesitation or shame, does the ED or the CBI develop cataracts, when it comes to them?” he asked, in a veiled reference to the Narada “sting” operation.