TMC leader Abhishek to appear before CBI, dares agency to arrest him-

TMC leader Abhishek to appear before CBI, dares agency to arrest him-

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By PTI

KOLKATA: TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, who has been called by the CBI to appear at its Kolkata office on Saturday as part of its probe into the school jobs scam, dared the central agency to arrest him if it has any proof of corruption or misconduct against him.

His party chief and aunt, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday also took up the gauntlet on his behalf, claiming the BJP was gunning for her party colleagues and members of her family, using the investigative agencies, and wowed to oust the saffron party from the centre.

Earlier, CBI officials Friday said Banerjee had been sent a missive asking him to join the probe at its offices at Nizam Palace here.

“I dare the CBI to arrest me if they have any proof of corruption against me. They have been probing many cases in Bengal for the last several years. They should arrest me if they have any proof against me,” Abhishek said on Friday at a rally in Bankura, adding that he would return to the city this evening.

On Thursday, Calcutta High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Banerjee seeking recall of a previous order of the court which said that investigative agencies such as CBI and ED could interrogate him in the teacher recruitment scam. CBI sent its letter asking Abhishek Banerjee to appear within 24 hours.

The TMC leader’s name cropped up in a complaint filed by Kuntal Ghosh, an accused in the scam. Ghosh alleged that he was being pressured by central investigating agencies to name Abhishek Banerjee in the school scam case.

“You are hereby directed to appear before me on Saturday, at 11 am …” the letter sent by a deputy superintendent of the CBI to Banerjee’s Harish Mukherjee road address said.

In a tweet, Banerjee said, “unfazed by these events, I shall strive to serve the people…bring it on.”

Abhishek at his rally soon after the letter was delivered, accused the BJP of “using” the central agency to stop his ongoing mass outreach campaign as the saffron party was “afraid of the public support” for the programme.

“I will not bow my head before anyone apart from the masses. The BJP is afraid of the public support for the mass outreach campaign. CBI has summoned me, as they (BJP) want this mass outreach campaign to stop,” he said while addressing a roadshow here.

TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee also lashed out at the right-wing party, stating, “BJP is after everyone in our party and my family, but we are not afraid of them. CBI should have given some time to Abhishek to appear before it as it had known that he has been on the streets since April 25 to lead the mass outreach campaign.”

“Till BJP is ousted from the Centre, our fight against its tyranny will continue,” Banerjee thundered.

The fiery leader had to step in at the last moment to address a late evening rally virtually from Kolkata, as Abhishek Banerjee, left for Kolkata to be able to appear before CBI on Saturday morning.

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday did not allow an urgent hearing of an appeal by the Trinamool Congress national general secretary challenging the single bench order which said that there was no restraining order on CBI to act upon a notice to him.

An attempt to get the chief justice to hear it also did not succeed. The matter may now be taken up before a vacation bench of the High Court which will sit from Monday onwards.

Reacting to the TMC leaders’ remarks, the BJP dubbed the allegations as baseless. “The BJP has nothing to do with the CBI probe. If he has nothing to hide, why is he making such allegations,” BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.

Standing atop a vehicle, the TMC’s national general secretary thanked people for their “overwhelming love and support” before leaving for Kolkata.

“I dare the CBI to arrest me if they have any proof of corruption against me. They have been probing many cases in Bengal for the last several years. They should arrest me if they have any proof against me,” he said, adding that he would return to the city this evening.

Banerjee said he has temporarily suspended his mass outreach campaign – Trinamool Nabojowar (Trinamool New Wave), to join the probe and will resume it again from Bankura on Monday.

“Despite not being given even a day’s prior notice, I will still abide by it (CBI’s missive asking him to appear) as I have done no wrong,” he said.

TMC leader criticized the CBI for not summoning BJP leaders accused of corruption.

“A person was caught on camera taking bribes, but the CBI never summons him as he has joined the BJP. You can loot, take bribes and commit crimes; you won’t be touched once you join the BJP, as it is now a safe haven for thieves,” he said while referring to the Narada scam, which the CBI is also probing.

KOLKATA: TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee, who has been called by the CBI to appear at its Kolkata office on Saturday as part of its probe into the school jobs scam, dared the central agency to arrest him if it has any proof of corruption or misconduct against him.

His party chief and aunt, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday also took up the gauntlet on his behalf, claiming the BJP was gunning for her party colleagues and members of her family, using the investigative agencies, and wowed to oust the saffron party from the centre.

Earlier, CBI officials Friday said Banerjee had been sent a missive asking him to join the probe at its offices at Nizam Palace here.googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-8052921-2′); });

“I dare the CBI to arrest me if they have any proof of corruption against me. They have been probing many cases in Bengal for the last several years. They should arrest me if they have any proof against me,” Abhishek said on Friday at a rally in Bankura, adding that he would return to the city this evening.

On Thursday, Calcutta High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Banerjee seeking recall of a previous order of the court which said that investigative agencies such as CBI and ED could interrogate him in the teacher recruitment scam. CBI sent its letter asking Abhishek Banerjee to appear within 24 hours.

The TMC leader’s name cropped up in a complaint filed by Kuntal Ghosh, an accused in the scam. Ghosh alleged that he was being pressured by central investigating agencies to name Abhishek Banerjee in the school scam case.

“You are hereby directed to appear before me on Saturday, at 11 am …” the letter sent by a deputy superintendent of the CBI to Banerjee’s Harish Mukherjee road address said.

In a tweet, Banerjee said, “unfazed by these events, I shall strive to serve the people…bring it on.”

Abhishek at his rally soon after the letter was delivered, accused the BJP of “using” the central agency to stop his ongoing mass outreach campaign as the saffron party was “afraid of the public support” for the programme.

“I will not bow my head before anyone apart from the masses. The BJP is afraid of the public support for the mass outreach campaign. CBI has summoned me, as they (BJP) want this mass outreach campaign to stop,” he said while addressing a roadshow here.

TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee also lashed out at the right-wing party, stating, “BJP is after everyone in our party and my family, but we are not afraid of them. CBI should have given some time to Abhishek to appear before it as it had known that he has been on the streets since April 25 to lead the mass outreach campaign.”

“Till BJP is ousted from the Centre, our fight against its tyranny will continue,” Banerjee thundered.

The fiery leader had to step in at the last moment to address a late evening rally virtually from Kolkata, as Abhishek Banerjee, left for Kolkata to be able to appear before CBI on Saturday morning.

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday did not allow an urgent hearing of an appeal by the Trinamool Congress national general secretary challenging the single bench order which said that there was no restraining order on CBI to act upon a notice to him.

An attempt to get the chief justice to hear it also did not succeed. The matter may now be taken up before a vacation bench of the High Court which will sit from Monday onwards.

Reacting to the TMC leaders’ remarks, the BJP dubbed the allegations as baseless. “The BJP has nothing to do with the CBI probe. If he has nothing to hide, why is he making such allegations,” BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.

Standing atop a vehicle, the TMC’s national general secretary thanked people for their “overwhelming love and support” before leaving for Kolkata.

“I dare the CBI to arrest me if they have any proof of corruption against me. They have been probing many cases in Bengal for the last several years. They should arrest me if they have any proof against me,” he said, adding that he would return to the city this evening.

Banerjee said he has temporarily suspended his mass outreach campaign – Trinamool Nabojowar (Trinamool New Wave), to join the probe and will resume it again from Bankura on Monday.

“Despite not being given even a day’s prior notice, I will still abide by it (CBI’s missive asking him to appear) as I have done no wrong,” he said.

TMC leader criticized the CBI for not summoning BJP leaders accused of corruption.

“A person was caught on camera taking bribes, but the CBI never summons him as he has joined the BJP. You can loot, take bribes and commit crimes; you won’t be touched once you join the BJP, as it is now a safe haven for thieves,” he said while referring to the Narada scam, which the CBI is also probing.

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