As Bengal goes on the boil ahead of assembly elections, the infamous chit fund Saradha that collapsed in 2013, costing lakhs of people across West Bengal their hard-earned savings, is edging back to the headlines.
Trinamool Congress leader Suvendu Adhikari, who recently quit as minister from Mamata Banerjee’s government and has made headlines as someone who may switch to the BJP, today wrote to the CBI director about “suspicious circumstances” in which jailed Saradha chairman Sudipta Sen wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and claimed that he, Mr Adhikari, had taken money from him.
“I have been also named in such purported letter,” Mr Adhikari wrote, pointing out that Mr Sen wrote the letter just three days after he quit as a minister on 27 November. Mr Adhikari is named in the Saradha case and has been interrogated at least twice by the CBI.
But sources say what is suspicious is Sudipta Sen is being used by influential people to malign Mr Adhikari. There was no attempt to do so earlier when he was Trinamool Congress minister. But just in case he does head for the BJP, Mr Sen was manipulated to write the letter and make these “false claims”, they said.
“It is my genuine apprehension that there exist suspicious circumstances behind writing of such letter by accused Sudipta Sen under duress and influence of jail authorities in connivance with very influential persons,” Mr Adhikari wrote and sought the CBI director’s necessary action.
In his 1st December letter that went public on 5th December, Sudipta Sen names five leaders and claimed they took a lot of money from him.
Besides Mr Adhikari, the list includes former Trinamool leader Mukul Roy who is now in BJP, Adhir Chowdhury, Congress MP, Sujan Chakraborty, CPM MLA and Biman Bose, CPM politburo member.
Mr Adhikari, Mr Sen claims, took Rs 6 crore from him.
“It is painful to me to see that who are taking high money and actually cheat poor people are now joining BJP. I request the CBI and the state police for investigating the matter properly and necessary action may be kindly taken [sic]”, Mr Sen wrote in his letter.
Mr Adhikari takes note of this comment and wrote, “….he (Sudipta Sen) has requested the CBI and the state police for investigation….His letter further contains his causes of pain to be such persons “…now joining BJP”.
There was a stir in political circles when Sudipta Sen’s letter went public. But the claims were laughed off as a “conveniently late recall”.