CBI arrests 2nd TMC MP in Rose Valley chit fund scam

CBI arrests 2nd TMC MP in Rose Valley chit fund scam

In a major setback to the Trinamool Congress, the CBI on Tuesday arrested its parliamentary party leader Sudip Bandopadhyay for his alleged role in the Rose Valley chit fund scam.

Trinamool chairperson and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lashed out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling the arrest a “political vendetta”.

Bandopadhyay, the second MP to be arrested in a week after Tapas Pal’s arrest on December 30, was grilled for nearly four hours before being taken into custody. The CBI officials claimed that some of his replies were not satisfactory.

Bandopadhyay was summoned by the CBI thrice since December but he turned up for questioning only after Pal was arrested. He helped Rose Valley chief Gautam Kundu expand his chit fund business by doing him favours, the investigators claimed.

Attacking Modi, Mamata blamed the Centre for “targeting” Trinamool leaders “because of their opposition to demonetisation”. Stating that she already has a list of other Trinamool leaders who would be targeted next, Mamata called for the arrest of CPM MLA Sujan Chakraborty and BJP MP Babul Supriyo, accusing them of involvement in the multi-crore scam. “I urge Modi to look into his own illicit activities rather than curbing our protests,” she said.

Challenging Modi, she said, “He cannot suppress the voice of the people. People will not spare Modi for the economic terror he has unleashed.” “Why is (Gautam) Adani (industrialist) roaming free despite his involvement in the alleged ‘manhandling’ (meant mismanagement) of funds?” she asked. Mamata told reporters that chit funds such as Rose Valley and Saradha mushroomed during the Left regime and no such firm was launched since Trinamool came to power in 2011.

“How can you say a Trinamool member is involved in such a scam? We came out with a law against chit funds,” she said.

“If Rose Valley is among the biggest scams, how is that the group’s TV channels are still on air? You should arrest BJP leaders Rupa Ganguly and Babul Supriyo who perform on such channels,” Mamata said.

While she warned of protests beginning on Wednesday, sources said she has called for an emergency meeting of her party MLAs.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of Trinamool workers marched to the state BJP headquarters, which falls within Bandopadhyay’s parliamentary constituency. As they raised slogans and abused Modi, BJP workers retaliated, turning the area into a battleground.Twelve BJP activists were injured in the melee.

The situation was brought under control after a large contingent of anti-riot police was deployed.

BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi had been apprised of the incident.

 

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