Seeking to turn the tables on the Centre in the chit fund scam, Trinamool Congress on Friday demanded the resignation of Union Minister A H Khan Chaudhary for his alleged links with the Sarada group and raised questions over Prime Minister’s role in the issue for not taking any action.
Answering a query on the alleged role of his party MPs in the chit fund scam, Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien said the party was doing its own investigations into the case and “no one will be spared”.
“There are three letters written by Minister of State for Health (who) wrote one letter in September 2011 slamming the Sarada group. Six months later, he wrote a letter to the Prime Minister praising the group and even asking him to keep this group out of the purview of the Reserve Bank.
“Two months later, he wrote another letter where not only he praised Sarada group but also slammed its competitors. The Minister of State for Health needs to resign but the bigger question is that the Prime Minister received three letters but no action was taken and he too is answerable,” he told reporters here.
Mr. O’Brien said his party was taking multiple action to get to the bottom of the whole issue including the arrest of Sudipto Sen, ordering SIT and judicial probe, calling a special Assembly session and creation of a Rs 500 crore corpus for the victims of the alleged scam.
“Trinamool Congress has no connection whatsoever with the Sarada group. My two colleagues who are in question, they have made their statements. Quick action is being taken. Internally also we are taking action and nobody will be spared,” he said.
The TMC leader said, “Chit funds are there from 70s, 80s and 90s and are a legacy of the Congress and CPI(M) rule. So, now the skeletons are coming out of the cupboard. The situation is sad because so many people have lost their life savings. The TMC is acting and acting fast.”
“There are 11-12 names mentioned, including one of the spouse of a minister who is a lawyer. I will not take names and there are also accusations of Rs 42 crore and Rs one crore. There are lot of names. So, the first thing to be found out is whether the letter (written by Sudipta Sen) is authentic or not,” he said.
The MP said, “The Trinamool would also be doing its own investigations and parallel investigations are also going on... What has been going on for 30 years, we are trying to solve it in 20 months.”
On the demand by the Left parties for a CBI probe into the chit fund scam, Mr. O’Brien said, “The Left and the Congress are trying to play angels. The Chit Fund Bill has been there since 2003-04. Why was the Bill not cleared? The Congress and the Left were in power at that time. We are taking quick actions.”
In one of the three letters to the Prime Minister in March last year, Khan Chowdhury gave a clean chit to Saradha saying it was “in compliance with all mandatory and legal guidelines of the Companies Act and without any noted violation of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.”
He said his earlier letter, in which he had complained about the company to the Prime Minister, “has caused severe financial stress and reputational damages to the existing operational business of Saradha Realty, which is regrettable.”
He also said the Saradha Realty was “conducting a prosperous and successful realty business in West Bengal” and was “not any chit fund, microfinance or NBFC (non—banking financial company) ... and may therefore be out of the purview of the Reserve Bank of India.”
Mr. Khan Chowdhury also withdrew his earlier complaint through this letter.