Kolkata, April 25 IANS | 6 months ago

Even as the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam continues to hog the limelight in West Bengal, a Congress municipal councilor Friday accused mayor Sovon Chatterjee of "unscrupulously" issuing trade licences to the tainted company. Chatterjee rubbished the allegations.

Prakash Upadhyay, who represents ward no.29 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Friday filed a complaint against Chatterjee, a lawmaker of the ruling Trinamool Congress, with the Enforcement Directorate (ED) which is probing the scam.

He alleged that Chatterjee "used his influence" to give over 40 trade licences to a company of the Saradha group which has a registered office in Diamond Harbor which falls under the constituency of Trinamool legislator.

"The complaint is against the mayor who being the MLA of the area has used the influence to give trade licenses to the company. This cheating business was allowed in collusion with the corporation," he said after filing the complaint.

Chatterjee deniedthe allegations.

"The licenses were issued between 2008-09, so it is better not to ask me about them. Moreover, it was me who cancelled all those licences," said Chatterjee, who became the mayor in 2010.

Meanwhile the scam, which robed lakhs of poor depositors of their hard earned money and led many to commit suicides, consumed yet another life after a man was found hanging in Canning in South 24 Parganas district.

The family of Sushanta Sarkar, 42, claimed he took the extreme step as he was depressed after investing and losing nearly Rs.3 lakh in chit fund companies including Saradha.

"He had invested nearly Rs.3 lakh rupees in chit funds to marry off his daughter, and today committed suicide because he has no money and his daughter has grown up," said a family member.

(Posted on 25-04-2014)

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