Chit fund scam: CPI(M) points finger at Mamata`s nephew

Demanding CBI inquiry into Saradha Group chit fund scam, CPI(M) accused Mamata Banerjee`s nephew of being involved in ponzy schemes.

Last Updated: Apr 28, 2013, 23:24 PM IST

Kolkata: Demanding CBI inquiry into Saradha Group chit fund scam, CPI(M) on Sunday accused West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee`s nephew of being involved in ponzy schemes and said she should come clean on the issue.

"Mamata Banerjee`s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, who is the leader of Trinamool Congress Yuva, runs a company which is involved in real estate and micro-finance and has made a huge amount of money in the last two to three years. Microfinance is a civilised name of chit funds," CPI(M) central committee member Gautam Deb told a rally in neighbouring North 24 Parganas district.

Sudipto Sen, the chairman of the Saradha group who is now in police custody, was often seen as close to Trinamool Congress leadership. TMC MP Kunal Ghosh was heading the media wing of the Saradha Group, he alleged.

"Mamata Banerjee has to answer about this company. The chairman and CMD of this company is Abhishek Banerjee. We want to ask her whether her nephew runs chit funds or not. What kind of real estate business he has? Who has given approval to this micro-finance company run by Abhishek?"

Only a CBI inquiry into the entire chit fund business in the state can bring out the truth, he asserted. "Only a CBI inquiry can bring out who are involved in it and what relation does TMC have with these chit funds? A small police commissionarate like Bidhannagar cannot investigate the matter in its entirety."

He took a dig at Banerjee for her statement that her party is run with money fetched by selling her paintings.

"Does she think that the people of Bengal are fools? Is she a much bigger painter than Picasso, Michaelangelo? Who buys those paintings for (Rs) two crores? It is Sudipta Sen and owners of other chit fund companies. Once she steps down as CM we will see who buys her paintings," he said.

Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee accused
TMC leadership of being `hand in glove` with chit fund companies in the state and alleged that the two have become synonymous.

"When we were in the government we never allowed such companies to come close to our government infrastructure and initiated action against them. But after the Trinamool Congress came to power these chit funds grew in size and number with firm support from the ruling party," he claimed.

"In the eighties we were strict with chitfund companies and in the early nineties we closed down various offices of chitfunds and arrested several officials of such companies. We had also made a bill to deal with such companies, which was later sent for the president`s accent," he said.

He alleged that TMC government`s plans to bring in a new law and set up a commission to investigate the ponzy scheme is `nothing but a ploy` to buy time to bail out the chit fund firms.

Bhattacharjee also took a dig at alleged deteriorating law and order situation of the state and lack of proper investments in the state.

"This government is interested in festivals and functions. Rather than bringing in investments, the chief minister is interested in festivals. Where are the jobs for the youths of Bengal? Where are investments? No new investments have come to Bengal in last two years," he said.