Tripura Leader of Opposition Sudip Roy Burman on Monday alleged that Chief Minister Manik Sarkar holds association with various chit fund companies and demanded a CBI probe into the ponzi scams in Tripura.
At a press conference in Kolkata, the senior Congress leader also accused the Tripura government of shielding Rose Valley company, whose chairman is now in judicial custody here in connection with an Enforcement Directorate probe.
“If (Bengal) minister Madan Mitra can find a place in jail for his proximity with Sudipta Sen (chief of Saradha Group), why can’t Sarkar be arrested for his nearness with Rose Valley boss Gautam Kundu and owners of other chit fund companies? He (Sarkar) had been spotted at the inception of these companies or their anniversaries on several occasions in the past,” Burman alleged.
He said he has “written to the Central government about initiating a CBI probe”.
The leader claimed that operations and unearthing of such ponzi scams didn’t get much media attention in Tripura because, unlike Bengal, the state doesn’t play a pivotal role in the country’s politics.
He alleged that the Left Front government in Tripura had been promoting these chit fund companies in a number of ways. Quoting from Tripura finance minister Bhanulal Saha’s budget speech on February 11, 2015, Burman said: “At one point, he said, ‘it has been a continuous endeavour of the state government to protect the interest of the depositors in the Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC) and chit funds through awareness generation…’ I was surprised to hear such a statement from the finance minister. Moreover, when we protested, they were adamant enough not to issue a corrigendum,” Burman claimed.
The Congress leader, flanked by Somen Mitra at the press conference, also alleged that the Tripura government had downplayed facts while reporting about the activities of the chit fund companies there.
“They had said that the total amount collected by the chit fund companies (in Tripura) was Rs 1,172 crore while Rose Valley alone had collected over Rs 1,500 crore from depositors. “The CM is more committed towards his party than towards the people and is therefore duty bound to attend the functions of the ponzi firms because the party had benefitted from them. Similarly, in the FIRs, the government reduced the amount collected by the ponzi firms to such an extent that the CBI refused to take over the case,” Burman said.
He added: “The Manik Sarkar government did not specify the amount of money involved in the scam while writing to the CBI to probe the Rose Valley Group in 2013 only to ensure that it was not investigated.”