TMC MP Srinjoy Bose arrested in Saradha case

Third leader to be arrested in the multi-crore chit fund scam

TMC MP Srinjoy Bose arrested in Saradha case

In a major setback to Trinamool Congress, another senior leader and party’s Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose was arrested by the CBI on Friday in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam.

Bose is the third party leader to be arrested after Kunal Ghosh and retired IPS officer Rajat Majumdar.

“Bose has been arrested for his prima facie involvement in the case relating to Saradha Realty on allegations of criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of funds and deriving undue financial benefits,” a CBI spokesperson told reporters in the city. Bose was summoned by the central agency for questioning on Friday and was later taken into custody.

Sources said that while Bose, the owner of a Bengali daily, had struck a deal to provide editorial content to a television channel owned by Saradha Group, the central agency found an unaccounted flow of money from the group to Bose. Although the deal came to an end sometime in 2012 before the group went bust in 2013, several large payments seem to have been made to Bose, the reasons for which remain unclear.

While Mamata had come out in defence of both MPs, senior Trinamool leaders also defended their leaders by questioning the CBI’s “political motives”. Senior party leader Saugata Roy alleged that the CBI has no credibility since the agency’s director Ranjit Sinha had to be removed from the 2G scam case on the Supreme Court’s orders. Roy told a national channel that Trinamool as a party “remains as strong as ever”.

Even as the opposition parties — BJP, Left and the Congress — are having a field day, for the, Trinamool this could spell trouble with the party set to face elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation and other civic bodies in 2015 and the Assembly polls in 2016. With BJP emerging a stronger force, it could spell further hit for the ruling party, some Trinamool leaders admitted. The situation has already gone against the ruling party in Bengal, with even Mamata’s clean image being questioned.

Even though the CBI had also summoned Transport Minister Madan Mitra, Textile Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee and senior Congress leader Somen Mitra, Madan got himself admitted to a private clinic around four days back with various complaints. While this seemed like a stalling tactic, he was later shifted to the state-run SSKM Hospital and is reportedly set to undergo a surgery for tumours, which doctors say are benign.

 With the CBI setting up a medical board to look into his condition, speculations are rife that he could also be arrested.

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