Hours after the Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI) served a notice to his wife in connection with a case registered on November 27, 2020, Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee described the developments as “predictable” and “desperate”.
“At 2 p.m. today, the CBI served a notice in the name of my wife. We have full faith in the law of the land. However, 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,” the Diamond Harbour MP said, sharing the notice served to his wife, Rujira Banerjee, on social media.
Mr. Banerjee, who is also the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said that “We are not scared” adding that “people will give a befitting reply during voting”.
In the notice, the CBI’s investigating officer stated, “You are hereby requested to remain present on 21.02.2021 at 15.00 hrs at the above-mentioned address for the purpose of answering certain questions relating to the case” .
On Sunday a team of CBI officials had arrived at Mr. Banerjee’s residence at Shantiniketan Building on 188 Harish Mukherjee Road. According to CBI sources, notice was served to Ms. Banerjee as a witness in a case involving coal theft under section 160 of Code of Criminal Procedure. Ms Banerjee, however, was not present and therefore, no questioning or investigation could be carried out.
The development has triggered an uproar in political circles of poll bound West Bengal. TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said the notice shows how vindictive the BJP leadership can be. “Abhishek Banerjee has filed a defamation case against Union Home Minister Amit Shah. A court has asked him to present himself or send his representative on February 22. This development is a result of that,” Mr Ghosh said.
However, former TMC leader Suvendu Adhikari, who recently joined the BJP, said he had shared details of a bank account in Bangkok where the proceeds from illegal smuggling of coal were going. “We want action in this regard. The sins committed should be brought out to public domain,” Mr Adhikari said.