As several Trinamool Congress leaders are facing the heat from agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation, TMC-ruled West Bengal on Monday passed a resolution in the state Assembly against the “excesses of the central probe agencies". The resolution was opposed by the BJP but it was passed through division, with 189 voting in favour of it and 69 against.
Speaking on the resolution, West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she doesn’t believe that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is behind the alleged excesses of central agencies in the state, but blamed a section of BJP leaders.
As Banerjee seems to have up the ante with the passage of this resolution, here’s some Trinamool leaders who have been radar of central agencies in several cases including SSC scam, coal and cattle smuggling cases.
Partha Chatterjee was arrested in July 2022 by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its probe into the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam after the central agency seized cash worth crores from the flats of close aide Arpita Mukherjee. He was the education minister when the alleged irregularities took place. After his arrest, Chatterjee was stripped of his ministerial post and other responsibilities in the TMC.
In the latest update of the case, a Kolkata court has rejected Chatterjee’s bail and remanded him to the custody of CBI till September 21.
In August 2022, TMC leader Anubrata Mondal was arrested by the CBI in connection with its probe into the alleged cattle smuggling case. At present, he is in the CBI custody.
West Bengal law minister Moloy Ghatak’s name has emerged in a coal smuggling case. Earlier this month, the CBI carried out day-long raids at Moloy Ghatak’s properties in Asansol and Kolkata in connection with the coal smuggling case.
In July 2022, the ED had attached properties worth Rs 13.63 crore of a company linked to TMC youth wing leader Vinay Mishra and his arrested brother Vikas Mishra in a money laundering probe. The investigation is linked to an alleged illegal coal mining and pilferage case of West Bengal.
“Vinay Mishra and Vikas Mishra alias Chotu delivered proceeds of crime worth Rs 731 crore with the help of business associates of Anup Maji alias Lala during July, 2018-March, 2020," the ED had said.
The money laundering case stems from a November 2020 FIR registered by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that alleged a multi-crore-rupee coal pilferage scam related to Eastern Coalfields Limited mines in West Bengal’s Kunustoria and Kajora areas in and around Asansol. A chargesheet was filed by the ED in the case in May last year.
He is also being probed by the CBI in this alleged illegal coal mining and pilferage scam case. Both the central agencies are also probing his role in a cross-border cattle smuggling case running along the India-Bangladesh international border in West Bengal.
TMC general secretary and Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee and his wife Rujira have been questioned by the ED in connection with the alleged multi-crore coal scam case. The investigation is linked to a 2020 FIR filed by the CBI in an alleged multi-crore pilferage scam in which Abhishek was a “beneficiary” of illegal funds, the ED has alleged. According to the ED, two companies involved in the scam are linked to Abhishek Banerjee and his family. The companies allegedly received money from smugglers.
In May this year, the CBI interrogated TMC leader Paresh Adhikari in the SSC scam case. He was quizzed related to the “illegal” appointment of his daughter Ankita as a teacher in a government-aided school when he was the minister of state for education in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet. The agency also filed an FIR against Adhikari and his daughter. During the cabinet reshuffle in August, Mamata dropped Adhikari from her cabinet.
Trinamool Congress MLA Manik Bhattacharya was questioned at the Enforcement Directorate office in connection with the SSC Teacher Recruitment scam. Bhattacharya was also removed from the post of the president of Bengal’s Primary Education Board after a court order. The ED recovered several crucial documents related to the alleged recruitment scam from the recent raids conducted at his residence.