Trinamool Congress National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee, who was summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged recruitment scam, appeared before the agency office in Kolkata on Wednesday.
The summons to the TMC MP came weeks after the central probe agency conducted raids in the office of ‘Leaps and Bounds Pvt Ltd’ which the federal agency alleged was “used for making dubious transactions running into crores of rupees.”
The ED claimed that Banerjee is the chief executive officer of the company.
Reacting to the notice by the ED, the Trinamool leader said on Sunday that the notice required him to appear before the agency on September 13, the very day when the Opposition INDIA bloc’s coordination committee is scheduled to meet in Delhi.
Banerjee is a member of the INDIA grouping’s coordination committee and was scheduled to attend the meeting today.
“FIRST meet of INDIA’s coordination comm (committee) is on 13th Sept in Delhi, where I’m a member. But @dir_ed conveniently served me a notice just now to appear before thm [them] on the VERY SAME DAY! One can’t help but marvel at the TIMIDITY & VACUOSNESS of the 56-inch chest model. #FearofINDIA,” Banerjee posted on X (formerly Twitter).
The first meeting of the Coordination Committee of the INDIA alliance will be held today at Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar’s residence in the national capital.
The Opposition alliance in its third meeting in Mumbai on September 1 had announced a 14-member coordination committee but is yet to choose a convener.
The 14-member committee includes KC Venugopal (Congress), Sharad Pawar (NCP), TR Baalu (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Sanjay Raut (SS), Tejasvi Yadav (RJD), Abhishek Banerjee (TMC), Raghav Chaddha (AAP), Javed Ali Khan (SP), Lallan Singh (JD(U)), D Raja (CPI), Omar Abdullah (NC), Mehbooba Mufti (PDP) and one leader is from the CPI(M) that will give the name later.
This is not the first time that the Trinamool leader has been summoned by Central agencies in connection with the recruitment scam. Both the ED and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have issued summons to Banerjee. The scam involved appointments as teachers and non-teaching staff in State-run schools via illegal means.
Assets worth more than Rs 126 crore have been attached in this case till now.
ED has also arrested former West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee, his alleged aide Arpita Mukherjee, TMC MLA and the ex-president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education Manik Bhattacharya, TMC youth wing leaders Kuntal Ghosh and Santanu Banerjee, Ayan Sil in this case where it has filed a total of five charge sheets under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
Partha Chatterjee was also suspended by the TMC after his arrest by the ED. (ANI)