Saradha scam: Mamata promises action against accused



Kolkata: Under attack over the Saradha scam, Trinamool Congress supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she will not spare anyone including those in her party if found guilty.

"For the past few days concocted and salacious canards are being spread against me and my party MPs, MLAs, councillors and even some family members," Banerjee told a party rally at Shyambazar in North Kolkata.

"Don't link the names of others with mine. I have no family after my mother's death. I stay alone. I have no relations with others who stay at my home. The people are my family. I have not been born with a golden spoon in my mouth that is why this campaign," she said.

Referring to TMC Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh who is under a cloud after Saradha Group chairman made allegations against him to CBI, she said "Kunal Ghosh worked in a channel. But he never told me that the employees working there were not getting their salaries."

"I am rough tough. I will not spare anyone in my party and others, if guilty," the chief minister said.

Questioning the credentials of those levelling allegations, she, said, "One chilli may be rotten. What is the problem? In a family of 500, a single member may be bad. This is also true of the CPI(M)."

Stating that she had taken action in the past against party leaders, she referred to the arrest of the Trinamool councillor Mohammad Iqbal following the recent Garden Reach violence in which a police officer was shot dead and Sambhunath Kow, another party councillor, wanted for the death of a party colleague.

She also referred to the arrest of the former Trinamool Congress MLA Arabul Islam for the violence at Bhangor in which a former CPI(M) minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah was allegedly attacked.

"Arabul did not assault. But he was in jail for 42 days. I do not spare my partymen if they commit wrong," she said.

Turning her ire on the CPI(M), the TMC chief brandished issues of CPI(M) mouthpiece 'Ganashakti' and 'Dial', a telephone directory brought out by the Marxist party, with purported advertisements from the Saradha Group bookmarked.

She also displayed dailies with the purported photographs of the Tripura chief minister, a former West Bengal chief minister and a former CPI(M) MP from the state.

"How many more do I have to show you? If I had brought more documents, there would have been a mountain of chit funds."

Accusing the CPI(M) of allowing chit funds to flourish since the 1980s in the state, she said, "Chit funds were born when the CPI(M) was in power, now the chit funds have become swindlers."

Quoting a line from Tagore poem, she said "Your highness now is pious and I am a thief."

Turning her attention to the Centre she questioned why Sebi and RBI, which controlled chit funds, did not inform the state government earlier and alleged that 'conspiracies' against her government were taking place after the TMC quit the UPA.

"Conspiracies are taking place, while we are not getting central funds," she said.

She said that Congress was demanding a CBI inquiry, but it should remember what the Supreme Court has said on the coalgate scam.

Banerjee said that many files of the erstwhile Left regime were missing. "CBI had sought some information from us on coalgate, but we found the files missing. We will lodge FIR against those behind it."

Referring to the new anti-chitfund bill passed in the assembly, she said "Left did not frame proper laws. The ball has started rolling with the passing of the new bill. My first duty is to give protection to the poor investors who have lost everything.

"We will return money by confiscating the properties of those who have swindled the people. I guarantee that no harm will be caused to you because of me," she added.

PTI