Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government for "unleashing federal probe agencies against her family members", hours after her nephew and his wife were summoned for questioning by a federal probe agency in connection with an alleged coal scam.
"Why are you unleashing the ED (Enforcement Directorate) against us. Against your one case we will raise bagfuls. We know how to fight back," Mamata told the media in state capital Kolkata.
Mamata's nephew Abhishek, an parliamentarian, and his wife Rujira have been asked to appear before the federal agency at its headquarters in New Delhi on September 6 and 1, respectively, in connection with the case pertaining to illegal mining and theft of coal from two leasehold mines in the eastern Indian state.
Abhishek also slammed India's ruling saffron party for trying to intimidate him so as to deter the Trinamool Congress party from focussing on the northeastern state of Tripura -- where the BJP is in power. "The more you try to intimidate us, the more we will focus on BJP-ruled states," he said at a rally in Kolkata.
After returning to power for the third time in a row in Bengal in May this year, Mamata's party has now been eyeing Tripura, which shares its border with Bangladesh. Abhishek recently visited Tripura to strengthen the Trinamool Congress' organisational hierarchy in the state, where assembly polls are slated for 2023.
It may be mentioned here that Mamata has been accusing the country's ruling BJP of trying to destabilise her government ever since her party came to power in Bengal for the third consecutive time in May this year. Bucking anti-incumbency, Mamata scripted history on May 2 by single-handedly pulling off an astounding win in the assembly election.
Bengal had witnessed the most high-profile contest in India's recently held state elections. While Mamata had harped on being Bengal's daughter, the BJP asked people to vote for "change and socio-economic development" after 50 years of Communist and Trinamool rule.