The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress number two and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, for a fresh round of questioning on Thursday in connection with the school jobs for cash scam case in which former Education Minister Partha Chatterjee has spent more than 16 months in custody.
Abhishek Banerjeee is the Trinamool Congress national general secretary and party’s Lok Sabha MP from Diamond Harbour constituency.Shashi Panja, the State’s Women & Child Development and Social Welfare Minister and TMC spokesperson, confirmed that Abhishek Banerjee would be going to ED’s Salt Lake office on Thursday.
“Abhishek Banerjee has been called by the ED yet again tomorrow. He has to appear, and he has confirmed that he will go to the agency’s office. It was his birthday yesterday and a birthday present from the ED—the summons—came to his office”, Panja said.
“He has been very responsible in the matter since the very first day,” Panja said, adding that the party national general secretary is a “victim of vendetta politics.”
The Minister claimed that the Trinamool Congress is the BJP’s “target”, and the developments are in the context of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. She said that Abhishek would appear and respond to the ED’s questions, but the investigation would have no end. “It’s a witch-hunt”, Panja alleged.
She added that such summons were agenda-driven and politically motivated to disturb his political programmes in the wake of the Lok Sabha elections next year. “This is also an attempt to malign the image of the party as well as to malign the image of West Bengal. Such attempts are going on for quite some time”, she added.
However, state BJP spokesman Samik Bhattacharya rubbished the allegation of political vendetta. “The central agency investigation in the school job case is going as per the order of the court and is also court-monitored. What has BJP to do with that? If Trinamool Congress smells anything wrong in the summons, they can approach the court”, he said.
Banerjee has been questioned by the agency in the case in the past as well. He was interrogated by the financial probe agency for nine hours over the alleged school jobs scam in Bengal, following which the parliamentarian had asserted that the interrogation was an attempt to stop him from attending the coordination committee meeting of the Opposition’s INDIA bloc.