As Trinamool Congress faced the heat on the Saradha multi-crore scam, Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, who was arrested in the case, today alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was trying to save the culprits.
"The Chief Minister is trying to save those involved in the Saradha scam," Ghosh, who was suspended by the TMC, said outside the Salt Lake SDJM court lockup before being produced in connection with one of the several cases pending against him. He also claimed that state transport minister Madan Mitra should have been summoned in connection with the scam. Ghosh, who was also the CEO of Saradha Group's media arm, was arrested on November 23 last by Bidhannagar Police.
On the controversy over a painting of Banerjee being allegedly bought by Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen, Ghosh said, "He (Sudipta) is changing his position on the issue." "I had a chance to meet him in lockup during the hearing of a case and had asked him about the paintings, which became an election issue. But what he had told me is different from his statement yesterday," Ghosh claimed, adding that he would not "disclose" anything at this stage. Sen had yesterday told newspersons when being produced before the Justice Shyamal Sen Commission of Enquiry into the scam that he had not bought any painting of the chief minister. Sen was asked whether he had bought a painting by the chief minister for Rs 1.8 crore.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had alleged that a painting by the Trinamool Congress supremo had sold for a staggering Rs 1.8 crore and asked who had bought her painting for such a huge amount. With the Trinamool Congress threatening a defamation case against Narendra Modi for asking about the identity of a buyer of a Mamata Banerjee painting, the BJP today said it would do the same.
"They are threating us with a defamation suit. The day they file a defamation suit, we will do the same against them for stopping to a new low and for making personal attacks. We will also file a complaint against them," West Bengal BJP President Rahul Sinha said. Sinha also demanded that the Trinamool Congress publish a white paper on the buyers of paintings by the TMC supremo and on the Saradha chit fund scam. "The people want an answer. They can't evade questions for long," Sinha said.
The BJP Prime Ministerial candidate at a rally at Serampore on Sunday had asked about the identity of a person who had allegedly bought a painting of the TMC chief at Rs 1.80 crore. The TMC yesterday had demanded a public apology by Modi for his comments or face a defamation suit.