I was blackmailed, says chit fund chief

A letter written to the CBI on April 6 by Saradha Group chairman and managing director Sudipta Sen — who has been arrested in connection with the chit fund scam — saying he was blackmailed by, among others, two Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha members for money has created a furore in political circles,

But Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee told journalists here on Wednesday that, “Our government is not involved in any way. It [the scam] was totally done by private entities.”

Asked about Mr. Sen’s allegations in the 18-page letter, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee said, “Any individual or company found involved in the scam will not be spared.

Leader of the Opposition Surya Kanta Mishra said that according to his information, the letter might have been written at the dictates of a senior Trinamool leader. Those named in it were mere “sacrificial lambs” chosen by the leadership to divert attention from the links the Saradha Group had with other leaders of the party as well as with the State government.

“There are reasons to believe that there could be a got-up game behind the writing of this letter; it is a result of an understanding between the State government and the accused [Mr. Sen],” Dr. Mishra of the CPI(M) asserted.

Dr. Mishra alleged that the arrest of Mr. Sen and two of his associates was another “got-up game.” “The State government wants the persons arrested to remain in the custody of its police so that anything uncomfortable they may have to say is not divulged.”

Pradesh Congress Committee president Pradip Bhattacharya said: “We had information that some Trinamool leaders are directly or indirectly involved in the cheating business.”

*This report has been corrected for an editing error