The on going political blame-game over the ponzi schemes in West Bengal got a fresh twist Friday with a Congress municipal councillor accusing the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) of issuing the Saradha Group trade licences for 43 companies —- all having the same office address.
Prakash Upadhyay, who represents ward no.29 of the KMC, filed a complaint with the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the scam, alleging that all the 43 companies were issued trade licence at 455, Diamond Harbour Road ( second floor) in the southern fringes of Kolkata.
“I have submitted all the documents to the Enforcement Directorate. The KMC issued licence to 43 companies at one address. How this is possible? All the licenses were cancelled after (Saradha Group chief) Sudipta Sen was arrested,” Upadhyay said. Stating that he did not trust the state police, he said that’s why he handed over the documents to the central probe agency.
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Contacted, Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress MLA, blamed the previous Left Front government for the lapse. “These licences were issued during the Left tenure. After we came to know about them, we cancelled all the licenses. As per the rules, the companies registered with the Registrars of Companies (ROC) need trade licences to function and that is why the licenses were issued,” he said.
However, the documents revealed that only nine licences were issued in 2008-09, during the Left Front tenure, while 34 licences were issued in between 2010 to 2012 —- when Trinamool Congress led the charge of the KMC.
The ED officials, meanwhile, said the documents will come in handy during the ongoing investigations.
Meanwhile, TMC Lok Sabha candidate from Balurghat, Arpita Ghosh appeared before the ED and was interrogated for more than two-and-a-half hours. Ghosh was an executive editor in one of the media organisations owned by Sudipta Sen.