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BJP using central agencies for vendetta politics: TMC on Abhishek's ED quiz

The ruling TMC accused the BJP of employing central agencies to pursue vendetta politics after its MP Abhishek Banerjee gets questioned for eight hours by the ED

Abhishek Banerjee, TMC

Press Trust of India Kolkata
The ruling TMC on Monday accused the BJP of employing central agencies to pursue vendetta politics after its MP Abhishek Banerjee gets questioned for eight hours by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged coal scam in Bengal.
The BJP leadership was quick to hit back, stating that the ED and CBI are independent agencies. The party wondered why the TMC grunbled every time its leaders were summoned.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in New Delhi for questioning in a money laundering case linked to the alleged coal scam.
The 34-year-old Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary was seen entering the new office of the central probe agency in Delhi around 11 am. He left the ED office around 7:30 pm.
"ED and CBI are the biggest allies of the BJP. As they cannot fight us politically, ED and CBI are used to counter us. The BJP lost Bengal elections in 2021; they will register a poor performance again in 2024 Lok Sabha polls. This is nothing but vendetta politics," Banerjee told reporters after the questioning.
Echoing him, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh wondered why saffron party leaders, who have been named in Saradha and Rose Valley scam, are not summoned by the central agencies.
"These central agencies are functioning arbitrarily. Whenever there is an election, they harass leaders of opposition parties. As there is a Lok Sabha and assembly by-poll slated, they have summoned Abhishek for questioning. But such pressure tactics would not help them win elections."

"The BJP has turned into a washing machine as those involved in scams go scot-free once they join the party," Ghosh iterated.
The Diamond Harbour MP has been earlier questioned in this case by the agency in September last year for about nine hours.
The latest ED summons against the two came after the Delhi High Court on March 11 dismissed a plea by the couple challenging the agency notices that asked them to appear in the national capital instead of Kolkata.
The agency lodged the case under the provisions of the PMLA based on a November 2020 FIR registered by the CBI that alleged a multi-crore coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Limited mines in the state's Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol.
The ED had claimed that the parliamentarian was a beneficiary of funds obtained from this illegal trade. It has arrested two people in this case till now.
Reacting to the allegations levelled by the TMC, BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said the Mamata Banerjee-led party had the habit of complaining every time they are summoned by the ED and CBI.
"The CBI and ED are independent and neutral agencies; the BJP has no connection with them. If they (TMC leaders) have any complaint, they can seek legal help," he said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 22 2022 | 6:42 AM IST

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