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Gov: ‘Can act if I get something in writing’

This was the first time the Governor reacted to the scam after taking charge of the Raj Bhavan on July 24.

Closed apartment of footballer Ramirez Barreto in South Kolkata on Wednesday. ( Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta ) Closed apartment of footballer Ramirez Barreto in South Kolkata on Wednesday. ( Source: Express photo by Subham Dutta )

With names of several top Trinamool Congress leaders, including Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, cropping up in the nearly Rs 2,460-crore Saradha chit fund scam, West Bengal Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi Wednesday said he can take any action only if something is placed before him in writing.

“I have seen the reports in the newspapers but nothing has come up to me in black and white. No agency has come to me. So, I cannot take a call or make a comment in this regard. I will only go by what the files tell me. I will take action on the basis of what is written in the files,” Tripathi said talking to The Indian Express.

This was the first time the Governor reacted to the scam after taking charge of the Raj Bhavan on July 24.

The parallel investigations by the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI have put the ruling TMC in a spot. The CBI probe has found that a subsidiary of Saradha Group —- Saradha Tours and Travels —- had entered into a contract with the IRCTC when Mamata was the rail minister. Name of state transport minister Madan Mitra to has cropped as an alleged beneficiary of the Sardha’s ill-gotten money. Another minister, Shyamapada Mukherjee, was recently grilled by the ED.

The Opposition parties, meanwhile, said they will soon meet the Governor regarding the scam. “We will tell him about the whole Saradha scam in which top leaders and ministers of the TMC are involved. We will also tell him about the deteriorating law and order situation and the atrocities meted out to women in the state. We will demand that he take action and rein in this government of which he is the constitutional head,” Adhir Ranjan Chaudhury, Pradesh Congress chief, told The Indian Express.

CPI-M state committee member Rabin Deb echoed Adhir. “We have decided to meet the Governor in this regard. Being the constitutional head, he has a role to play as the image of his government is being tainted,” Deb said.

The BJP, however, said it won’t meet the Governor or seek action against the ministers. “We have full faith in what CBI is doing. We are sure that the top brass of the government will land in the CBI net. We won’t have to tell the Governor about it,” Rahul Sinha, state BJP chief, told The Indian Express.

A joint investigation report of West Bengal Police and Enforcement Directorate (ED), has pegged the Saradha chit fund scam at Rs 2,460 crore with 80 per cent of the depositors’ money still remaining unpaid.

Mamata govt made all-out effort to stop CBI: retd SC judge

Express News Service

Kolkata: Retired Supreme Court Justice and former chairman of West Bengal Human Rights Commission Ashok Ganguly on Wednesday slammed Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government over the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam.

Criticizing Mamata, Ganguly, who has had several tussle with the TMC-ruled government in the past, said, “The IRCTC of Indian Railways tied up with Saradha Tours and Travels in two years of Saradha Group being formed. The then Union railway minister (Mamata), during whose tenure the deal was signed, calls herself epitome of honesty. Railways is a government organization and people still have faith in it. But Saradha used Railway’s logo to sell itself. This is cheating,” Ganguly said. He was speaking at a programme organized by the Chit Fund Sufferer’s Association to create awareness against the “ponzi schemes”.

Ganguly added that the Bengal government is the only government which fought in the Supreme Court against bringing CBI into the investigation in the Saradha scam. “The Bengal government spent crores of public money to stop the CBI. When Assam and Orissa government did not object to the CBI investigation, why did Bengal government made an all-out effort to stop the CBI here,” he asked.

Sharpening his attack, the retired SC judge continued: “What kind of politics is this? First you loot and cheat people. And when there is a call for investigation, you say that it is a conspiracy.”

Ganguly was forced to resign as the WBHRC chief in February this year after a law intern accused him of sexual harassment. Ganguly, however, had said Mamata never “wanted me to continue as the chief” and “made her displeasure very clear when I gave my order in the Ambikesh Mahapatra case”.

Mamata had also written a letter in December 2013 to President Pranab Mukherjee, accusing the retired judge of “engaging himself in paid employment during his term of high office” besides levelling other allegations.

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