A possible fear of political witch-hunt after being questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam seems to have taken a toll on Mithun Chakraborty who is likely to relinquish his Rajya Sabha membership, sources close to the actor-turned politician said.
Mithun was nominated to the Upper House by the ruling Trinamool Congress in February last year and took oath as an MP four months later.
His close aides claimed that Mithun’s proximity with the ruling party and allegations of his involvement with the Saradha scam was taking a toll on his personal and professional life.
“Mithun had distanced himself from the party after being summoned by the ED for being one of the brand ambassadors of the Saradha Group. There had been a lot of turbulence back home and soon he will put in his papers. He has also decided that he will not campaign for any of the candidates during the Assembly elections next year,” said one of Mithun’s close aides.
A senior state TMC leader admitted that speculation in this regard was rife for some time now. “We were anticipating this move. He had got petrified after getting the ED notice. Even Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee knew about it,” he said.
Trinamool secretary general Subrata Bakshi, however, said, “We have no official information on the matter.”
On November 26, while addressing a rally in Kolkata, Mamata had expressed apprehensions that the powers in Delhi might unleash CBI or ED against her for her comments against intolerance and threat to communal harmony. “Many have been threatened to give a false statement. They have threatened Mithun Chakraborty, my party MP, in such a way that he can’t even talk to me,” she had claimed.
Mithun is the only person associated with the Saradha Group who voluntarily returned the amount he had received from the firm. On June 16 this year, he sent a draft of Rs 1.19 crore to the Kolkata ED office, through his lawyer.
Despite being elected as a Rajya Sabha MP, Mithun skipped most of the important functions of the TMC after being summoned by the central agency.