CPM, TMC spar over Ponzi schemes

The issue of Ponzi schemes cheating small investors of crores of rupees in West Bengal was raised in the Rajya Sabha on Friday, leading to a clash between arch-rivals CPM and TMC.

Raising the issue of mushrooming of non-banking finance companies in West Bengal and adjoining states through a Zero Hour mention, Ritabrata Banerjee of the CPM said 18 lakh people have lost money in the Saradha chit-fund scam.

An estimated Rs 2,500 crore has been swindled and 99 people, who lost their money in the Saradha scam, have committed suicide, he said.

Over Rs 60,000 crore have been collected under 135 Ponzi schemes, he said, adding Rose Valley Company had collected Rs 15,000 crore in the last three-and-half years.

He alleged that Saradha chit-fund scam accused bought West Bengal chief minister’s painting for crores or rupees. “People of Bengal will give a fitting reply,” he said.

This triggered a sharp reaction from TMC with its leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy questioning as to how the issue was allowed to be raised when the CBI is investigating the issue under Supreme Court supervision.

The CBI has not named the chief minister in the scam, he said demanding that the Chair expunge the reference to the chief minister.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he will look into the records. “If any name is mentioned... if that person cannot come here and defend, all such names will be expunged.”  

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