Kolkata/ New Delhi:
Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s wife Rujira Narula has been asked to join investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a case involving allegations of coal smuggling. The CBI team turned up at the home of Mr Banerjee in Kolkata today to issue summons to her in the case, sources told NDTV. She will be questioned at her home today, sources said.
The allegations are that coal mafia paid regular kickbacks to leaders of Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress. The money was channelled through the party’s youth leader Vinay Mishra, who is under scanner in the case and is currently absconding. The agency has issued a non-bailable warrant against him.
The central agency filed the case in November last year to probe alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from Kunustoria and Kajoria coal fields of Eastern Coalfield Limited.
The summons to the wife of the MP from Diamond Harbour come in the backdrop of impending assembly elections in the state, in which the BJP is hoping to wrest power from the Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.
Abhishek Banerjee is seen by many as the political heir of the Chief Minister and his rapid rise in the party is said to have alienated many leaders, some of whom have joined the BJP.
Earlier this week, Ms Banerjee had challenged Amit Shah to beat Mr Banerjee in the elections as the two fought over allegations of dynasty politics.
Ms Banerjee, who had dragged Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah into the debate last week, had also said, “I challenge Amit Shah to let his son enter politics”.
During his visit to the state last week, Amit Shah had said, “Modi Sarkar is for Garib Kalyan (welfare of the poor). Mamata Sarkar is for Bhatija Kalyan (welfare of the nephew). She is wondering when she can make her nephew Chief Minister”.
He had also repeated the allegation at his public address at Namkhana where he flagged off a ‘parivartan yatra’.
Ms Banerjee, with her street fighter credentials, did not pull punches.
“They keep saying Bhatija Bua. What about your son? We are bad just because we are in Bengal. How did he make so much money?” she had shot back that day.