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Trinamool MPs assured business protection: Saradha CMD Sudipta Sen

Chit fund 'kingpin' names politicians from Bengal,Assam in letter to CBI.

Written by Priyadarshi Siddhanta | New Delhi/kolkata | Published: April 25, 2013 3:55:46 am

Chit fund ‘kingpin’ names politicians from Bengal,Assam in letter to CBI.

Sudipta Sen,promoter of Saradha Group,has claimed that Trinamool Congress’s Rajya Sabha members Kunal Ghosh and Srinjay Bose assured him that his business interests will be protected “as they have a very close connection” with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Also read: Rs 4,000 cr at stake,SEBI asks Bengal to probe five more chit fund companies

In an 18-page letter to the CBI,Sen has alleged that a number of politicians from Bengal and Assam took payments from him on various pretexts. Significantly,he has also attached names of several other multi-level marketing companies in the state where some of his associates have joined and he describes as corrupt.

About the two MPs,he claimed that in the past two years he has paid Rs 20 crore,“most of the payment made by cheque or RTGS”.

Sen noted that “various times they have taken cash under various causes.. not less than Rs 2 crore per month”. The letter alleged that Ghosh had been given a new car with allowances for fuel and a driver’s salary.

The letter,signed on each page by Sen,said that he had purchased a television channel,Channel 10,for Rs 24 crore and spent another Rs 50 crore to rebrand it. But Ghosh allegedly made him sign away the same “for a meagre amount of Rs 55 lakh,which can never happen”.

On the Banerjee connection,Sen said with the execution of this agreement to finance the newspaper,“they (the MPs) will protect my business from the government ie state and also Central and… they assured me that they have a very close connection with present CM of West Bengal ie Ms Mamata Banerjee”.

According to Sen,his travails began when he began investing in the media. He alleged that at the behest of Ghosh,a newspaper in the state unleashed a campaign against him. Feeling vulnerable against the alleged sustained campaign,Sen said he was compelled to enter the media business.

Saradha at one stage had become one of the largest chit fund companies in eastern India with interests in construction,realty,tourism,hospitality,agri-business,besides media. Urging the CBI to expeditiously conduct a probe to unravel the truth,Sen alleged that he was “forced” to take over a loss-making motorbike manufacturing unit in Polba near Singur by a business lobby close to the Trinamool government.

He alleged a minister in Assam government,whom he referred to as Himanta Biswa Sarma,had “dramatically cheated” him. He alleged that Sarma took about Rs 3 crore over a period of six months along with expenses for international flight by Sarma’ son.

He made allegations against Assam MLA Anjan Dutta,owner of Anubhuti Publications. Sen also blamed a Delhi-based TV channel journalist,who allegedly took Rs 75 lakh for purportedly opening a news channel.

Within TMC,Kunal,Srinjay face heat

The letter written by Saradha CMD Sudipta Sen to the CBI has led to a turmoil within the Trinamool Congress where the clamour for action against two of its Rajya Sabha MPs — Kunal Ghosh and Srinjay Bose — is growing louder by each passing hour.

Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also made an oblique reference about the two MPs and promised action against the “MPs” found involved in duping the investors.

Ghosh denied all the allegations of “blackmailing” levelled by the Saradha CMD,calling it baseless. “I used to be a salaried employee. I am neither a shareholder nor a director of the group. When Sen started the media wing of his group,I was not a part of it. I was hired later as a professional. My jurisdiction was the editorial content of media wing. I did not have even the access to the accounts of the media wing,” he said.

Bose in his defence said his newspaper did have a professional tie-up with Channel 10 TV in 2010 for providing editorial support but not with Saradha Group. Asked about the antecedents of the Saradha CMD,he replied: “We did not know that the man was a fraud.”

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