Trinamul Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee dared the BJP to use its all might against him after he had appeared before the Enforcement Directorate here on Monday in connection with a money laundering case related to alleged coal theft in Bengal.
“I told them everything and gave my answers in writing,” Abhishek said after spending nine hours at the ED headquarters.
“I had said this before as well, if there are proofs against me, the agency should bring them out in public,” he said while emerging from the Jamnagar office of the central agency where he had reached around 11am.
In a black shirt and trousers, the Diamond Harbour MP, who is also the all India general secretary of Trinamul, emerged from the ED office around 8pm. In his brief interaction with reporters waiting outside the ED office, he came down heavily on the BJP and accused the ruling party at the Centre of using investigating agencies against political opponents.
“These agencies did nothing to people, who were seen accepting money on camera because they all are associated with a political party. All this is done to keep those fighting the BJP under pressure. I understand the situation of the officers of the agencies as they are also under pressure,” said Abhishek
It was clear that he was referring to Trinamul turncoat Suvendu Adhikari, an accused in the Narada case, against whom the central agencies haven’t filed any chargesheet.
“I am telling you that we will go to every state where there is BJP and fight them head on.... We will not sit back like other political parties. Our lives may be in danger, but we will not bow down our heads. We will defeat the BJP in 2024,” said Abhishek, reiterating what his aunt and Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said during her Delhi trip in July.
After trouncing the BJP in the Bengal Assembly polls, Mamata has been playing a key role in building an alliance of opposition parties before the 2024 polls.
The Trinamul leadership has been stressing that the BJP was targeting Abhishek, who was sent a summon on August 28 in connection with the coal pilferage case, to settle political scores. His wife Rujira was also summoned to Delhi on September 1, but she requested the agency to question her at her south Calcutta residence as it was not possible for the mother of two to travel in the time of the pandemic.
“Do whatever you can... BJP’s tyranny will be defeated. Let the BJP pull all its might, vigour, threat and resources, mind my words, their resources are going to fall flat,” he said before stressing that at least 25 BJP MLAs were in touch with his party to switch over.
Sources in the agency said his statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The ED case is based on an FIR registered by the CBI last year, alleging theft of coal from some mines of the Eastern Coalfields Limited in Asansol.
Two persons, identified as Vikas Mishra and Ashok Mishra, inspector in charge in Bankura police directorate, have been arrested by the ED in connection with the case.
The agency, however, did not issue any official press statement on his questioning.