Mamata Releases Letter Claiming BJP's Himanta Sarma Swindled Rs 3 Cr in Saradha Fund Scam
Citing the letter, Mamata Banerjee accused the CBI of acting on the instructions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee addresses media after comes out from Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar's residence, in Kolkata. (Image: PTI)
Kolkata: After claiming “moral victory” over the Supreme Court's directive that no coercive step be taken during the course of Kolkata Police chief Rajeev Kumar’s probe, Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday escalated her attack on the CBI and BJP by releasing a letter written by Sudipta Sen of Saradha Group.
In the letter, Sen accuses BJP’s Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who switched from the Congress to the BJP, of cheating him of “at least Rs 3 crore”. Sarma is the state's finance minister and an active BJP leader.
Addressed to CBI’s Anti-Corruption Branch in Kolkata, the excerpt from 19-page letter dated April 6, 2013, are: “Another high-level person has dramatically cheated me. He is Mr Hemanta Biswa Sarma. For the last six months, apart one and half years, he has taken from us not less than less Rs 3 crore all by cash and some vouchers have been signed by his office executives by some other means. This amount is also to be returned to the company for paying up the Bengal area creditors because this amount has always been given from Calcutta office.”
Citing Sen’s letter to the CBI, Mamata said, “CBI is acting on the instructions of Modi babu (Prime Minister Narendra Modi). The agency is selectively targeting opposition leaders. Those who joined the BJP are safe and those who are raising their voice are facing the wrath. This cannot be tolerated in India. There is an urgent need to save institutions. Why is the CBI not taking action against those BJP leaders who took money from the chit fund companies?”
Highlighting the failed cases of the investigative agency, the West Bengal CM said, “What happened to the 2004 theft of Rabindranath Tagore's Nobel Prize medallion? What happened to the Singur case? What happened to Nandigram violence case? I am pleading before Modi bhai, Amit (Shah) bhai to please ask CBI to locate Tagore’s Nobel.”
Sarma could not be reached for a comment.
Earlier in the day, amid opposition’s demand to impose President’s Rule in West Bengal, Banerjee dared the Centre to impose Article 356. “BJP is playing vindictive politics. They don’t believe in democracy. They are acting like an autocrat. Bengal will not tolerate this. I am ready to die fighting these anti-people forces. If they will try to impose Article 356, 355, then I have Section 144,” she said.
“Probe agency has every right to work within the constitutional parameters. There is no problem in that. But this CBI’s act (at Kolkata Commissioner of Police, Rajeev Kumar’s house) is no less than constitutional coup. I will not tolerate such vindictive politics. It’s my constitutional rights to protect my officers. BJP cannot fight us politically, therefore they are using CBI to harass us,” Banerjee said.
The CBI had registered 43 cases in Orissa while three in West Bengal in connection with the nationwide multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam in 2014.
Those who were named in the FIR are Debjani Banerjee (executive director-Saradha Group), Manoj Nagel (director), Aurobindo Chauhan (driver of Saradha group), Somnath Datta (vice president of Saradha’s media group), Arth Tatwa’s (non-banking financial institution in Orissa) chief Pradip Sethi, Seashore Group (Orissa) head Prasant Das, Sudipta Sen (founder of Saradha Group) and Kunal Ghosh (Trinamool Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP).
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