Kolkata, Jan 22: A day after rejoining the Congress, former Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra Wednesday attacked West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee over the chit fund scam and demanded a CBI probe into the state’s biggest financial scandal.
Mitra, who Tuesday formally rejoined the Congress, also demanded the arrest of scam kingpin Sudipto Sen’s wife.
“Her (Banerjee’s) own party MP has talked about her involvement in the scam. If she has nothing to hide, then why is she afraid of a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) probe? I think for the sake of her image, she should come clean and allow a CBI probe so that whatever truths are there are revealed,” Mitra told media persons here.
Mitra, one time state Congress chief, was referring to sensational claims by Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, who subsequent to his arrest in connection with the scam, alleged involvement of several prominent leaders from his party including Banerjee.
“If the state government is so clean and against corruption, then why isn’t it arresting those who have been named by Ghosh? Why Sudipto Sen’s wife, who was an equal partner in his business, is not being arrested? Is this government afraid that if she is arrested then some biter truths may come out,” he asked.
Mitra who had earlier written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking action against mushrooming chit fund companies, accused the Banerjee government of deliberately sleeping over the issue despite being fully aware about the consequences.
“I warned her about the consequences of allowing these chit fund companies to operate, but unfortunately this government preferred to deliberately neglect the issue as it served it own interests,” he alleged.
The Saradha scandal came to light in April last year. The company closed shop across Bengal after being unable to pay back the depositors — mainly poor people who, lured by the promise of huge returns, parked their life’s savings with the firm.
As the company went bust, there was a spate of suicides by agents and investors and protests across the state.
Saradha promoter Sen and several of his key aides and company officials are behind bars.