The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) while seeking custodial interrogation of former Kolkata Police Commissioner and Mamata’s man Friday Rajiv Kumar in the Saradha Chit Fund Scam, has made some startling revelations in the Supreme Court which threatens to further derail TMC’s campaign for the upcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal. The CBI informed the Supreme Court that the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund was used to pay the salaries of employees of Tara which was under the scanner for being part of Saradha Group of companies. It is estimated that a total of ₹6.21 crore was paid to the Tara TV Employees Welfare Association from the Relief Fund.
For 23 months, the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund was used by Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government to pay the salaries of the employees of Tara TV, informed the CBI to the Supreme Court while filing a contempt plea in the Saradha Chit Fund Scam. Between May 2013 and April 2015, the CM Relief fund at the rate of ₹27 lakh per month was regularly paid by Mamata, stated the CBI in its application.
The application stated, “It is submitted that the said amounts were purportedly given towards salary payments of the employees of the said media company that was under investigation being part of group companies of Saradha Group of Companies.”
In what is fast becoming the hallmark of Mamata’s tenure as the Chief Minister, the CBI alleged that the West Bengal government has parted with incomplete and evasive replies despite repeated follow-ups.
Concerningly for Mamata, the CBI is not afraid to point fingers at her as the country’s premier investigative agency has unearthed some findings which have the potential to finish off Mamata’s political career.
During the examination of former Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Kumar Ghosh by the Enforcement Directorate who is an accused in the case, revealed that Mamata and Sudipta Sen, the promoter of Saradha Group shared a very good relationship.
The application also stated, “It is submitted that the same establishes that the Chief Minister used to talk to Sudipta Sen using the phone of Kunal Kumar Ghosh.”
It is pertinent to note that the CBI revealed that Sen and Ghosh who belongs to the Mamata-led TMC in a span of one year, had connected over 300 times over phone calls.
Furthermore, the CBI pointed to the examination of Safiqur Rehman, an employee of Saradha group of companies. “It is submitted that as per the said statement (by Rehman), when the Chief Minister, West Bengal contested for MLA seat, Sudipta Sen was forced to sponsor all the Pujas of Bhawanipur, Kolkata. Rehman further stated that ‘Jangalmahal’ project was flagged off by Chief Minister, West Bengal in a ceremony held at Writers Building, Kolkata,” said the CBI in its application.
The fact that the Chief Minister’s Relief Funds were used to pay the employees of Tara TV must be investigated thoroughly as Mamata has no right to distribute public money meant for disaster relief at her will.