Saradha scam: Mamata demands arrest of union minister’s wife

Kolkata: In an angry retaliation over the Saradha scam issue which has again grabbed the spotlight, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Saturday wondered why the wife of a union minister, named by the scam kingpin in a letter to the CBI, was not arrested.

Accusing the union minister of instigating police to arrest Trinamool Congress leaders, Banerjee said she had seen name of the minister’s wife in the April (2013) letter written to the Central Bureau of Investigation by Saradha group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen – who is now under arrest.

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“During the election, (name of the minister) who ruined the country is telling the police go and arrest a few Trinamool leaders. Is it so easy? Why shouldn’t your wife be arrested?

“I have seen the letter to the CBI, his wife’s name is there. Yes, it is there. I would not have said this, had they not talked big,” Banerjee said during a party rally in English Bazaar of Malda district.

Castigating the Left Front for “giving birth” to chit funds and the Saradha group, Banerjee questioned why the central government did not take any action when these unscrupulous firms were mushrooming.

“This outgoing government, which has sold the country, and has raised the prices of everything and is neck deep in scams, is pointing fingers at us. No matter how much you threaten me or run a malicious campaign, you cannot make me to bow down.

“When the elections come, you start conspiring and spread canards. But if you have the guts then touch me, I will then show you,” asserted Banerjee asserting that it was her government which took action against the Saradha promoter and did not spare even its own MP alleged to be involved in the scam.

Incidentally, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi addressing rallies in Malda and Murshidabad earlier in the day, invoked the Saradha scam and accused the Banerjee government of shielding the scamsters.

“The scam runs into Rs.18,000 crore. This is your money. The money belongs to the poor. There is need for a CBI probe. But the state government does not want that. They know if the CBI begins probe, they will be exposed,” said Gandhi.

Probing the multi-crore scam, the Enforcement Directorate recently arrested Sen’s wife and son for alleged money laundering.

Suspended Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh, now behind bars, has repeatedly alleged involvement of several party colleagues in the scam.

Following the arrests of Sen’s wife and son, the opposition has been sharpening its attack on the Trinamool over the issue.

Raking up the issue, Left Front chairman and prominent CPI-M leader Biman Basu reiterated what former chief minister and veteran Marxist Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said at a rally that Banerjee, “the symbol of honesty has become a symbol of Saradha”.