Kolkata, April 29 IANS | 3 months ago

The CPI-M Tuesday alleged that Saradha scam kingpin Sudipta Sen was made to deny that he purchased any artwork of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, and demanded to know how she was funding her party.


Addressing a rally at Moyna in East Midnapore district, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra accused the state government of hindering the investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) into the scam.

"Sudipta Sen says he did not buy your (Banerjee) paintings. If it is so, then from where did the Rs.1 crore come, which you deposited in the CM's Fund? How are you now funding your helicopter rides, how are you running your party and the government?" asked Mishra.

"She had thought that making Sen deny the purchase would solve her problems. But it has only proved that your party does not run from the sale proceeds of your paintings," said Mishra as he rubbished Banerjee's claims that she runs Trinamool Congress by selling her paintings.

BJP prime ministerial nominee Narendra Modi earlier raised questions about one of Banerjee paintings being sold for Rs.1.80 crore. Sen, who the opposition claim was the buyer, Monday denied having made any such purchase.

Mishra also demanded to know if the chief minister has paid income tax on the proceeds from the painting.

"Why would you sell your painting clandestinely? We are happy that it has been sold for Rs.1.80 crore, but we should have the fortune to see a painting which fetched such a price."

"If you had sold it for such a price, then you must have paid income tax. If not, then the IT department would raid your house," he said.

Citing the example of the state police hurriedly securing a court order to open a bank locker of Sen's wife which the ED has been attempting to secure, Mishra accused the state government of trying to hinder the probe by the central agency.

"By doing all this, you are using the police to remove evidence. Those who are attempting to tamper or remove the evidence, they should be arrested," he added.

(Posted on 29-04-2014)