Kolkata: With non-banking financial company Saradha Group defaulting on payments and virtually on the verge of collapse and depositors taking to the streets demanding their money back, the Congress on Saturday accused the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of aiding the company.
Stating that the Centre had alerted the state on the issue of chit funds, WBPCC President Pradip Bhattacharya alleged "Unfortunately the state government did not take steps as some individuals in the ruling party had close links with the group.
"So many people would not have been affected had the state government taken steps," Bhattacharya said.
Union minister Deepa Dasmunshi said "It can`t be said that the state government did not know about chit funds. Whom are they shielding? They have to explain."
Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra who had earlier raised his voice against chit funds, said, "I had earlier written to the Prime Minister on the mushrooming of chit funds in the state. Those who deposited their money in chit funds were poor people. They were the worst affected."
Stating that chit fund had existed earlier also, he said "My responsibility was to alert the government, I have done my job."
Meanwhile, irate depositors of the Saradha Group threw stones at its office on Krishnanath Road in Berhampore town in Murshidabad district during the day demanding their money back.
Superintendent of Police Humayun Kabir said that the police restored order and were investigating.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has ordered the arrest of the Group`s Chairman and Managing Director Sudipta Sen for defaulting on payments.
Depositors had protested outside the residence of the chief minister here yesterday to demand immediate arrest of Sen.
Protests by depositors were also reported from Barasat in North 24 Parganas district.