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School teacher recruitment scam: Arrest if there is evidence… Mamta’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee’s challenge to CBI, summons to appear today

Kolkata/Bakunda: TMC i.e. Trinamool Congress leader and Mamta Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee on Friday challenged the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to arrest him if there is any evidence of corruption or misconduct against him. The CBI has asked Banerjee to appear at the agency’s office in Kolkata today i.e. on Saturday in connection with the investigation into the school teacher recruitment scam. TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also defended her nephew Abhishek Banerjee, claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was using investigative agencies to target his party colleagues and his family members. Mamta resolved to remove BJP from power.

Mamta Banerjee said, ‘BJP is after everyone in our party and my family, but we are not afraid of it… CBI should have given some time to Abhishek to appear as it is known that he will lead the public relations campaign from April 25 busy doing. Till the time the BJP is not thrown out of the Centre, our fight against its tyranny will continue. Earlier, CBI officials said on Friday that a letter has been sent to Banerjee asking her to join the investigation at the CBI office at Nizam Palace here. He said at a rally in Bakunda on Friday, ‘I challenge the CBI to arrest me if they have any evidence of corruption against me. He has been investigating many cases in Bengal for the last several years. If they have any evidence against me then they should arrest me.

Earlier on Thursday, the Calcutta High Court had rejected Trinamool Congress (TMC) national general secretary Banerjee’s plea seeking withdrawal of an earlier court order in the teacher recruitment scam case. The court had said in its earlier order that investigating agencies like the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) can interrogate him in the teacher recruitment scam. TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee’s name had cropped up in a complaint filed by Kuntal Ghosh, one of the accused in the scam. Ghosh has alleged that central agencies are pressurizing him to name Abhishek Banerjee in the recruitment scam.

A TMC leader said, ‘Abhishek Banerjee will appear at the CBI office at Nizam Palace at 11 am. He will do a program in Bankura and then leave for Kolkata. Banerjee accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “using” the central agency to stop TMC’s ongoing public relations campaign, adding that the BJP was “scared of public support” for the program Is.’ Addressing a roadshow here, he said, ‘I will not bow my head before anyone except the public. The BJP is afraid of the support the public relations campaign is getting. CBI has called me because they (BJP) want this public relations campaign to stop.

Reacting to Banerjee’s remarks, the BJP called the allegations baseless. BJP’s state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said, ‘BJP has nothing to do with the CBI investigation. If he has nothing to hide then why is he making such allegations. Standing atop a vehicle, TMC national general secretary Banerjee gave the address and thanked people for their ‘overwhelming love and support’. Banerjee said she has temporarily suspended her public relations campaign – ‘Trinamool Navjwar’ – to join the investigation and will resume it from Bankura on Monday.

He said, “Despite the notice not being given even a day before, I will comply (CBI’s letter asking him to appear) as I have done nothing wrong.” The TMC leader criticized the CBI for not summoning BJP leaders accused of corruption. He referred to the Narada scam, which is being probed by the CBI. He said, ‘A person was caught taking bribe in front of the camera, but the CBI never summoned him because he joined the BJP. You can loot, take bribe and commit crimes, after joining BJP you will not be touched as it is now a haven for the corrupt. Responding to the remarks of TMC leaders, the BJP termed the allegations as baseless.

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