Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed the state government officials to investigate if any illegal property is registered in her name or her family members and bulldoze them if any illegalities are found. Banerjee has directed the chief secretary and the principal secretary of the Land and Revenue department to investigate the properties held in her name.
The Trinamool Congress chief further said that if any of her family members get a notice from the central probe agencies, she would fight it legally though it has “become tough these days due to BJP’s interference.”
The chief minister made these remarks while addressing a press briefing at the state secretariat on Wednesday when she was questioned about the accusations levelled by opposition parties about the wealth acquired by her and her family members.
“If it is proved that I have encroached upon any property or helped someone (in my family) in doing that, it can be bulldozed. Demolish it, you don’t have to take anyone’s permission,” CM Mamata told state government officials.
She made these remarks against the backdrop of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) issuing fresh summons to her nephew and Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee to appear before its officers on Friday in connection with its ongoing investigation into the coal smuggling scam.
She further said that had she known earlier that politics would one day mean only mud-slinging and rumour-mongering, she would have quit it long back. The Trinamool boss said that she is not scared of anyone and has done nothing wrong in her life.
Attacking the BJP, Mamata said, “They (BJP) allege that the coal scam proceeds are going to Kalighat, but they don’t name anyone. Is the money going to Maa Kali?”
It may be noted that Mamata Banerjee lives in Kolkata’s Kalighat area, famous for its Kali temple. Referring to the cattle smuggling case, CM Mamata said, “Coal and cattle are under the Union Home Minister. It’s his responsibility.”
While Abhishek Banerjee, considered number 2 in the ruling party of West Bengal, was summoned in connection with the coal scam probe by the ED, another senior TMC leader Anubrata Mondal was arrested by the CBI for not cooperating with its investigation into the cattle scam.
“Cattle come from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi and Assam. I had stopped allowing cattle movement. Even during Covid, they (Centre) had asked us not to stop the movement of (vehicles carrying) cattle,” she said.
Alleging an exponential rise in the assets of relatives of Banerjee in recent years, a PIL filed before the Calcutta High Court on Monday sought an investigation into it by a central agency.
Banerjee said, “I do not take a salary as the chief minister. Although I’m a seven-time MP, I do not take a pension. My expenses are taken care of with the money I get from the sale of my books and paintings.”
She also lambasted the media for allegedly transmitting news items in this connection without verifying the content. Banerjee said, “You (Media) are labelling anybody you feel like as thieves without thinking twice. You are badmouthing others without evidence. Why are you (media) questioning how many houses one has or what is the value of his property.”