Saradha spectre back to haunt Trinamool Congress

Saradha spectre back to haunt Trinamool Congress

Saradha spectre back to haunt Trinamool Congress

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government seems to be in a bind over the spectre of CBI probe looming large over the Saradha chit-fund scam, which came to light in April 2013. With the scam fast becoming a major poll issue, state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury has dared TMC chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to allow the probe.

“If Banerjee has the guts, she should allow the CBI to probe the scam, which had deceived lakhs of poor people,” said Chowdhury on Tuesday, adding that the investigation should include the balance sheet and all financial transactions to find the fund trail and its beneficiaries. 

Banerjee has been under attack from various corners over the issue, with allegations that several TMC leaders had taken money from Saradha Group chief Sudipto Sen.

Although the scam did not seem an important issue in the run-up to the polls, over the last few days several political parties have raked it up, including the BJP’s Narendra Modi and Congress president Sonia Gandhi, leaving the TMC somewhat cornered. 

Banerjee initially challenged Modi to prove his allegations and threatened a defamation suit; later, she vociferously attacked Modi but kept quite on the issue.

Chowdhury, who accused the TMC of forming a tacit pre-poll alliance with the BJP, said without an understanding with the ruling party the saffron outfit could not have created a flutter across the state. “There is a certain BJP wave in the state, thanks to its secretive understanding with the TMC,” he said. 

Chowdhury further alleged that while it will not be proper to write off the BJP in Bengal since it had wrested two Parliamentary seats in the past, the party did not hold much ground in the state as its roots are embedded in the “communal” RSS.

While the political climate is already heated with the Saradha scam at the forefront of debates and discussions, jailed TMC Rajya Sabha member Kunal Ghosh, arrested last year for his connection to the scam, pointed a finger at party leader Banerjee for shielding the "real culprits". 

“The chief minister is trying to save those involved in the Saradha scam,” the suspended leader told reporters outside a city court where he was being produced in connection with one of the several cases pending against him.