The chit fund controversy sweeping West Bengal following the Saradha Group’s deposit scheme collapse has taken a fresh turn with the CPI(M) raising the possibility of chief minister Mamata’s Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee being involved in Ponzi schemes.
The distraught agents of a chit fund company Saradha group protest against the company's chairman Sudipta Sen and demanding his arrest of Sen, at Meyo road in Kolkata. HT Photo
“I want know from Mamata whether Abhishek runs a chit fund or not,” CPI(M) leader Gautam Deb said during a rally at Panihati on the northern fringes of Kolkata on Sunday.
According to sources, Abhishek is the chairman and managing director (CMD) of Leaps & Bounds Pvt Ltd, which is engaged in real estate, micro financing and consultancy along with other ventures. He is also the Trinamool Congress Yuva chief.
Deb, a former urban development minister, said Abhishek’s company had made a huge amount of money in the last two or three years. “Its turnover has skyrocketed to
Rs 300 crore in the past two to three years.”
Citing the company’s growth, CPI(M) leaders pointed fingers at the CM and demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe.
The ruling Trinamool dismissed the allegations against Abhishek and threatened to sue CPI(M) leaders.
Though Abhishek could not be reached for comment, the Trinamool said in a statement on Monday, “The charges that Mr Banerjee’s company is involved in chit funds and has done business amounting to R300 crore is laughable and completely untrue. The CPI(M) has not provided an iota of evidence.”
The statement added, “We invite the CPI(M) and its leaders to study the books of the company, not at all into chit funds, and try and trace wrongdoing amounting to even Rs. 300, let alone Rs. 300 crore.”
The party said what the CPI(M) and its former minister had done amounted to defaming an innocent person. “They will hear from our lawyers soon.”