It seems that the ghosts of the Saradha Chit Fund Scam refuse to go away and rightly so for West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee as the magnitude of the scam continues to shock the nation. Now, in a major jolt to Mamata and TMC, Upen Biswas – a former minister in the state government, in a book, has written that Saradha Scam is a ‘monumental fraud that overshadows all scams of India’.
Former additional CBI director Upen Biswas and a former TMC Minister, in a book titled “Dhamma Adhamma”, has made some scathing observations about the Saradha Chit Fund Scam, which he believes is bigger than any other scam in India.
Describing the Saradha scam, Biswas writes, “This is a monumental fraud, which overshadows all other scams of India. Here too, a larger conspiracy was hatched to loot left and right by powerful persons and from poor Sudipta Sen.”
The former IPS officer who is credited for the probe in the fodder scam, which landed Lalu Prasad Yadav in jail, was the Backward Class Welfare Minister in Mamata’s first term, however, after losing the 2016 West Bengal Assembly elections, he was accommodated as chairman of West Bengal’s SC, ST and OBC commission – a post equivalent in rank to that of a cabinet minister.
Biswas, however, was averse to assigning blame on Mamata Banerjee. “I cannot hold the government or the supreme leader of the ruling party responsible because these are still under investigation.”
Furthering his observation on the Saradha scam, he adds, “But we know that a huge scam took place and it did not happen overnight. The Supreme Court, in its first order directing CBI to take over the case, said that the larger conspiracy should be unearthed. I particularly know and understand this expression — larger conspiracy — because I coined this word during the fodder scam. Larger conspiracy involves influential people, mostly politicians and senior officials.”
Recently, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) revealed 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.
While seeking the custody of Mamata’s man Friday Rajiv Kumar in the Saradha scam, the CBI informed the Supreme Court that 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. 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 CBI 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.”
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.
The rot of Saradha scam runs very deep and has the potential to completely derail the TMC campaign for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly elections.