FORMER MINISTER Madan Mitra, in prison for his alleged involvement in the Saradha chit fund scam, will be the first Trinamool Congress leader to contest polls from behind bars. He will contest from Kamarhati.
On Friday, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee told mediapersons that Mitra, “once an MLA, will remain an MLA”.
The Alipore Civil and Criminal Court, on February 26, had rejected Mitra’s bail plea on the ground that the nature of his offence was serious and the larger interest of the society was involved. The CBI counsel had described Mitra as still an “influential” person who, if released on bail, could affect the proceedings of its probe into the case.
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It is this “influence”, which Trinamool hopes would allow the party to keep its winning combination intact despite charges of conspiracy and money siphoning that Mitra faces. Mitra had won Kamarhati in 2011 as well by bagging 57.96 per cent of the votes. He had defeated CPM’s Manas Mukhopadhyay.
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The Opposition have relentlessly attacked the Trinamool government, alleging that the probe into Saradha scam was being “intentionally delayed” as a result of a political understanding between the ruling party and the BJP. The Left Front and Congress plan to hold a joint protest outside the CBI office in Kolkata next week.