Congress demands CBI probe into Saradha Group
Kolkata: The Congress on Wednesday said that there should be a CBI probe into chit fund company Saradha Group which has allegedly defrauded thousands and as there were reports of involvement of Trinamool Congress and other party leaders.
"It has been said that a section of Trinamool Congress leaders are indirectly or directly connected with the Saradha Group and protected its interests," WBPCC chief Pradip Bhattacharya told a press conference here.
"There is also talk of the involvement of leaders of other parties," he said. Stating it had appeared in the media that Saradha Group chairman Sudipta Sen wrote to the CBI on the alleged involvement of Trinamool Congress leaders, Bhattacharya said "Let the truth come out through a CBI probe."
Asked whether he thought that Kunal Ghosh was involved, Bhattacharya said that the TMC MP's name had cropped up in the media. "But I will not say anything without evidence."
Referring to the arrest of the Saradha chairman and his accomplices and the inquiry and SIT probe announced by the state government, he said "It is a good step. But just arrest will not do. What is needed now is real investigation to reveal the whole truth behind lakhs of investors being cheated."
Stating that the different central agencies had issued warnings on chit funds, Bhattacharya wondered at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's claim that her government had no inkling about the scam.
Referring to the chief minister blaming the previous Left Front government for drafting a weak anti-chit fund bill and the Centre not using its powers to stop the chit fund company, Bhattacherjee, said "Centre will do what is required.
"But why did not the state finance department inquire when small savings of post offices came down after 2008 when the Saradha Group began mushrooming?" he asked and said that the first priority was to return the money to defrauded investors.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress MP Srinjoy Bose and editor of a Bengali daily said that his paper did have a professional tieup with tv channel 'Channel 10' in 2010, but not with the Saradha chit fund company or any other ancillary for providing editorial support.
"But later our experience with them was bad. Cheques started bouncing and the agreement was scrapped in March, 2013, Bose said.
Asked about the antecedents of the Saradha Group chairman, he replied, "We did not know that the man was a fraud."
He also said that there was no relationship between his party and the Saradha Group.