The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday issued a notice summoning Rujira Banerjee in the coal pilferage case, a move the Trinamool Congress slammed as a "political vendetta".
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the TMC have run a high-octane campaign for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections, with leaders such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee holding rallies across the state. The Central probe agency had on Friday carried out a fresh round of searches in connection with the case, PTI reported.
The CBI had registered an FIR in November 2020 against the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket Manjhi alias Lala, Eastern Coalfield Ltd General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL chief of security Tanmay Das, area security inspector Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai, and SSI and security in-charge Kajor area Debashish Mukherjee. The investigative agency has alleged that the accused Manjhi Lala is involved in the illegal mining and theft of coal from leasehold mines of ECL in Kunustoria and Kajora areas.
Reacting to the notice, the TMC issued a statement saying that people will give a befitting reply to the BJP during the polls. "So predictable. So desperate. All BJP allies have left them. So the only loyal allies are CBI and ED," it stated. "CBI is the only ally of the BJP left," it added. The party further said that it was not scared and will fight it out.
TMC spokesperson and MP Sougata Roy alleged the CBI visiting Rujira and Abhishek's house was nothing but political vendetta. "The way BJP was targeting Abhishek for the last few days prove that they were up to something," he said. Countering the Roy's statement, the saffron party said the TMC was "trying to politicise the matter".
"If someone has committed any wrong, then the law will take its course. Those who are culprits should be punished. No one should try to politicise the matter," BJP national general secretary Kailash Vijayvargiya told PTI.
The Assembly elections are due in April-May in West Bengal, where the BJP has launched a vigorous campaign to oust the ruling TMC.