The Enforcement Directorate on Monday questioned Trinamool Congress National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee for around eight hours in a money laundering case linked to an alleged coal scam, PTI reported.

During questioning, Abhishek Banerjee was “confronted with some evidence” gathered by the investigators in the case, news agency PTI reported citing unnamed officials. The officials said Abhishek Banerjee’s statement was recorded under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act.

Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira Banerjee have been named as accused persons in a case of alleged illegal mining and theft of coal from the mines of Eastern Coalfields Limited in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas.

Earlier today, Abhishek Banerjee and Rujira Banerjee filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the summons issued to them by the Enforcement Directorate, India Today reported.

Abhishek Banerjee, who is the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was engaging in vendetta politics because the people in the state have rejected them, News18 reported. He asserted that he and his wife will not cow down before the saffron party.

On March 11, the Delhi High Court had dismissed their petition seeking the suspension of the Enforcement Directorate’s summons. Abhishek Banerjee noted that the court order came just a day after the BJP won the Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, and claimed that this could not be a coincidence.

On Sunday, both Abhishek Banerjee and Rujira Banerjee arrived in Delhi from Kolkata. On Monday morning, he reached the Enforcement Directorate’s office for questioning, according to ANI.

The allegations

In November 2020, the Central Bureau of Investigation had filed a case against the general managers of Eastern Coalfield Limited as well as a coal mine operator named Anup Manjhi. Based on the Central Bureau of Investigation’s case, the Enforcement Directorate also started an inquiry.

The Bharatiya Janata Party had alleged that Abhishek Banerjee had received cut money from Trinamool Congress leader Vinay Mishra, who was allegedly involved in the illegal mining. The BJP also claimed that Abhishek Banerjee channeled these funds into the Trinamool Congress.

In February, the Central Bureau of Investigation had served a notice to Rujira Banerjee asking her to join inquiry in the case.