TMC MP Srinjay Bose arrested, minister quizzed in Saradha case

Kolkata: In a big embarrassment to the ruling Trinamool Congress, its Rajya Sabha MP Srinjoy Bose was on Friday arrested by the CBI for alleged involvement in the multi-crore Saradha ponzi scam and West Bengal Textiles Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee was quizzed in another related case.

A CBI spokesperson told PTI that Bose was arrested “for prima facie involvement in the Saradha realty case and for allegations of criminal conspiracy, misappropriation of funds and deriving undue financial benefits”.

Bose, owner of a Bengali daily, was interrogated by the CBI sleuths for five hours for his business dealings with Saradha Group owner Sudipta Sen before being arrested.

CBI sources said that Bose would be produced before the Alipore court tomorrow.

The central agency also quizzed Mukherjee in connection with the sale of shares of a cement plant to the Saradha Group chief, and former Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra during the day.

Reacting to the fast-paced developments, TMC MP and spokesman Derek O’Brien claimed, “CBI is a political tool which was used by the previous government to settle political scores. Now the BJP is doing an action replay. They cannot combat the TMC politically. They have tried and failed. So what do they do? Let loose a discredited CBI.”

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee blamed the Centre and the previous LF government for the chit fund scam and wondered what the CBI, SEBI and BJP were doing then.

Questioning why the CBI, SEBI and the BJP did not act earlier, Banerjee asserted, “Our government arrested the owner of the Saradha Group which was set up during the Left Front rule.”

Addressing a party meeting in Nadia district, she expressed surprise over why SEBI slept over chit funds when they were in the business of collecting deposits.

“Why did the Centre not act earlier, and what was the CBI doing?” she asked.

Banerjee accused the Left parties, which ruled West Bengal for 34 years, for allowing dubious chit fund companies to flourish since the 1980s.

Bose is among eight prominent persons arrested by the CBI in the Saradha case.

Meanwhile, state Transport Minister Madan Mitra, who had been served with summons, was admitted to the state-run SSKM hospital after a brief stay at a private clinic in the city complaining breathlessness.