With allegations surfacing that Saradha Group was favoured in getting a contract from IRCTC, a railway catering and tourism wing, State Congress president Adhir Chowdhury on Thursday demanded that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee resign from her post till Saradha probe was over.
"It has to be seen at what time this contract was signed as the Railway Ministry was with the Trinamool Congress from 2009 till the middle of 2012. Mamata Banerjee herself was the Railway minister from 2009- May 2011. The CBI should interrogate her to find out the truth of the contract," Chowdhury, former MoS, Railways in the previous UPA-II government, told a press conference in Kolkata. He further said, "The chief minister projects herself as symbol of honesty and integrity. If she is really so honest, then she should resign from her post and cooperate with the Saradha probe."
Chowdhury's demand follows allegations by opposition parties that the Saradha Group was favoured in getting a contract from the IRCTC.
The TMC reacted to it by alleging that CBI, which is probing the multi-crore chit fund scam, is being used as a political weapon by the Centre. "Earlier, CBI was known as the Congress Bureau of Investigation. CBI has not changed its character," TMC all-India general secretary Mukul Roy said. "CBI is not an autonomous organisation which works on its own. CBI works as a political organisation," he alleged.
On the Opposition parties' charge that Saradha Group-owned Saradha Tours and Travels had been unduly favoured by IRCTC, Roy, a former Railway minister, stated, "I am not aware of anything. The treaty was done before I took over. It must have been done through proper tendering process." "There are a lot of organisations such as the CAG or the Railway Audit to look into the treaty," he said.