New Delhi: Abhishek Banerjee, the MP and the relative of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to join the investigation Tuesday, in connection with an alleged coal scam case, has sought time from the agency.
As of now he hasn’t joined the probe Tuesday.
He was questioned for eight hours by the ED officials last Monday (March 21).
After the questioning, he was asked to join the probe again March 29 for further interrogation.
Banerjee had last Monday told the media that the BJP was misusing the agencies and he wasn’t afraid.
His wife Rujira Banerjee, who was supposed to join the investigation March 22, failed to come due to some family issue. It was said that she had to look after her children. She had said that she would reply through email.
Abhishek Banerjee, however, had joined the probe and had spoken to the media after the questioning was over.
“I have told the agency that I am willing to cooperate but why here in Delhi. There are elections in Bengal. BJP can’t fight democratically and thus they are resorting to this vengeance politics. I am not cowed down. Bjp lost in 2021 and will again lose in 2024. This washing machine tactic is not going to work for long. If you want to fight, fight it democratically. They have been harassing me by calling me so many kms away,” he had said.
He had alleged that the way these agencies have been functioning, showed the BJP’s dictatorship.
“I will bow down before the power of people not before the people in power. They can’t scare me. They are living in fools paradise,” he had said.
The ED had asked Abhishek Banerjee and his wife to join the investigation March 21 and 22.
On Tuesday, the ED officials were supposed to record his statement once again. His wife will be questioned separately.
Banejree had September 6 last year recorded his statement before the ED officials. He was interrogated for around six hours then. But the probe agency was not satisfied with his answer and was summoned again along with his wife.
In September last year Banerjee and his wife, through their counsel, had moved a plea before the Delhi High Court against the ED summons. But they didn’t get any relief from the High Court, which dismissed the plea March 11, 2022.
They had said in their plea that they were residents of West Bengal and had sought relief on that ground. Their contention was challenged by Tushar Mehta, the Solicitor General, who was appearing for the ED. He told the court that ED was not confined by any area under the PMLA.
This case is being probed by the CBI and the ED. Both the agencies are doing parallel investigation. The CBI filed the case in November last year.