Saradha scam: Mamata accuses CBI of 'propaganda' ahead of bypolls
Accusing the CBI of carrying out propaganda against her Trinamool Congress in its Saradha chit fund scam probe ahead of the bypolls to two assembly seats, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday warned the agency of a "dangerous situation" if it tried to protect the "real culprits".
Coming down heavily on the Central Bureau of Investigation, which has been closing in on the Saradha money trail, Banerjee, also the Trinamool supremo, claimed that central agencies had tried the same "conspiracy" ahead of the Lok Sabha elections earlier this year and the 2008 panchayat polls.
"They tried to help in the campaign against us before the LS elections by summoning our candidate Arpita Ghosh.. Now because the two by-elections are there, so they are up to it again."
Over the past few days, the CBI has grilled Trinamool leaders like state minister Shyamapada Mukherjee, party MP Ahmed Hassan Imran, and another party leader cum former IPS officer Rajat Majumdar as well as senior minister Madan Mitra's former confidential assistant Bapi Karim.
The by-polls to the Basirhat (South) and Chowringhee constituencies are slated to be held Sep 13.
"The CBI's success rate is only 2.5 percent. Irrespective of who is in the government, the CBI has been used to spread canards against political opponents. If anybody has done any wrong, who don't they arrest him? The entire conspiracy has been hatched to save the real culprits," Banerjee said.
She, however, refused to spell out who she thought was the "real culprit". "I don't want to take names, they will be glorified."
Banerjee said it was her government which arrested scam mastermind Sudipta Sen and Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh as there were specific allegations against him.
"But if the CBI tries to protect the real culprits by nabbing only the small fish, we won't sit idle. There will be a dangerous situation."
She said the CBI should not limit itself to Saradha but also bring other chit funds under its ambit.
She also denied her government was not cooperating with the CBI. "We have given them our officers, arranged for their accommondation. We have provided all infrastructure. We only want action against all those who duped the people."
The chief minister noted that her government returned Rs.500 crore to people who had lost money by parking their hard-earned funds in Saradha's schemes.
Lashing out against the Left parties, she alleged that chit funds were its legacy. "It is their scam. The chit funds started mushrooming in 2004-05 when the Left Front was in power."
(Posted on 30-08-2014)