Kolkata: Soon after his discharge from hospital, West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra on Wednesday said there was no ground on which the CBI could arrest him or "cause harassment" since he had not taken a "single paisa" from the Saradha Group.
Mitra, whom the CBI wants to interrogate in connection with the Saradha chit fund scandal, said he was ready to face the investigating agency and cooperate with it.
"There is no reason on the basis of which the CBI can arrest me or cause harassment in any way," Mitra told a local Bengali TV channel after he returned home from the state-run SSKM Hospital where he had been admitted on November 20.
"The CBI had called me on November 21, but I was then sick and admitted to hospital for treatment, which I had informed them," Mitra said.
"I have not taken a single paise from the Saradha Group. I only attended a programme organised by it without knowing its background or activity as a chit fund. I have no involvement with the activities of the Saradha Group. Rather, I am against any chit fund activity," he claimed.
Asked by the interviewer if he feared being called by the CBI, Mitra asserted, "I am not at all afraid of facing the CBI. Media has misunderstood me fully. What I wanted to say is that I am suffering from claustrophobia. You must know how it affects a patient," the Minister said.
Mitra declined to answer when asked if he suspected political conspiracy behind the CBI's plan to question him, saying, "The leader of our party Mamata Banerjee has already said on this. I shall not make any comment."
The Minister said he would not attend office or go anywhere for some more days. "Only if I am advised rest at a more pollution-free environment, I may stay at my house at Dakshineswar. I am advised to take rest and have medical check-ups on a regular basis. But, if the CBI calls me I must go."
Mitra also refuted reports of his son and any of his family members being involved with any chit fund company and said if their taking any benefit from a chit fund company was proved, he would take responsibility.
The Minister was admitted to SSKM Hospital on November 20 after a brief stay at a private clinic in the city.
"The Minister is keeping well now. We don't need to keep him in the hospital. The Medical Board has thus decided to discharge him," SSKM Hospital authorities said.
"However, condition of his health needs to be reviewed from time to time," they said.