Kolkata: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) summoned Thursday senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee again October 3 for questioning in connection with the school jobs scam in West Bengal. The party described the summons as an attempt by the BJP to disrupt its planned rally in New Delhi on the same day. The party said that October 3, Abhishek Banerjee is set to lead the protest rally in the national capital against the Centre’s decision to withhold the state’s dues under MGNREGA.
The TMC general secretary, considered number two in the party, shared the letter sent to him by the central agency on X.
“Earlier this month, the ED summoned me on a day coinciding with an important coordinating meeting of #INDIA in Delhi. I dutifully appeared and complied with the served summons,” Banerjee said.
“Now, today yet again, they have served me another summons to appear before them on a day when the protest agitation for West Bengal’s rightful dues is scheduled in Delhi on 3rd Oct. This stark revelation unequivocally exposes those who are truly perturbED, rattlED and scarED!” Banerjee posted on the micro-blogging site.
Reacting to the allegations, the BJP said the central agencies do not need to consult the TMC before summoning anyone.
Banerjee, along with other party MPs, MLAs and leaders will pay their respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in the national capital October 2 on his birth anniversary. A TMC delegation will meet Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh October 3 and place before him the issue of ‘non-release of dues’ under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
The ruling party of West Bengal claimed that the BJP is afraid of the TMC’s programme in New Delhi. Therefore it is trying to scuttle the people’s voice by using the ED.
“@BJP4India , how low will you stoop? First, you withhold the rightful dues of Bengal’s people and let them suffer. And now, you’re trying to silence the voice of our people by summoning National GS Shri @abhishekaitc through your caged parrot @dir_ed on October 3rd, the day when a protest agitation is to take place in Delhi,” the TMC posted on X.
The Supreme Court in 2013 had described the CBI, another central probe agency, as a ‘caged parrot’ while citing evidence of interference in its investigation into the alleged irregularities in the allocation of coalfield licences. At that time, the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre.
The BJP rejected the allegations of the TMC. “If Abhishek Banerjee and the TMC are not afraid of anyone, why are they apprehensive of appearing before the ED? The central agency is right in asking Abhishek Banerjee to appear before it,” senior BJP leader Rahul Sinha said here.
Banerjee was questioned by ED for nearly nine hours in the teacher recruitment scam earlier September 13. He had then claimed that the interrogation was an effort to prevent him from participating in the coordination committee meeting of opposition bloc INDIA.