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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

Sonia accuses Mamata govt of direct role in Saradha scam

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Kolkata, April 22, 2014
First Published: 19:48 IST(22/4/2014) | Last Updated: 01:56 IST(23/4/2014)

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi took at dig at the Mamata Banerjee government on Tuesday, alleging direct involvement of the West Bengal administration in the multi-billion rupees Saradha ponzi scheme scam.

"The government here colluded with chit fund companies which have looted more than 18 lakh families and ruined them," Sonia Gandhi said at Islampur in North Dinajpur district.

Incidentally, the Congress president's jab at Mamata Banerjee came following scathing attacks by her son, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and BJP's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi on the same issue within the past two weeks.

"Poor people go through a lot of struggle to save money for them and their kids so that they can use it when needed," the Congress chief said on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Mamata Banerjee upped her ante against the Congress. During a rally in Bankura district on Tuesday, she said the Congress was the real scamster in the country and that a party neck deep in scams should not point their fingers at others.

Significantly, Modi stung Mamata Banerjee on April 10 during at rally at Siliguri, arguing that New Delhi needed a 'bada masterji' to make tame the Bengal ruling party. From a rally on April 18 at Malda district, Rahul Gandhi, too, blamed Mamata Banerjee for trying to protect the culprits instead of taking action. He even went to the extent of asking for a CBI inquiry in the scam.

Banerjee started hitting back at politicians ever since Modi attacked her on Saradha. She attacked Modi at a personal level, raising questions about his wife.

However, she was still mum on Saradha until Rahul Gandhi accused her of protecting who looted public money. "A CBI probe would expose the Trinamool Congress and that is why they are scared of the CBI," Gandhi had said.

Since then, Mamata has been regularly hitting out at the Congress over scams, and especially targeting union finance minister P Chidambaram.

She alleged that Chidambaram' wife and son, too, were involved with the Saradha scam and if Trinamool leaders are to be penalised the kin of Chidambaram should share the same fate.

"Take action against Chidambaram' wife and son first. I have seen their names feature in Sudipta Sen's letter to CBI. Congress should start action with them," Mamata said, alleging that the Congress has hatched a conspiracy to malign her government in the poll times.

"I've arrested an MP of my own party. I have compensated the victims of the camp. I don't need other's money to run the party," Mamata said in another rally at Arambagh, asking, "Why aren't the wife and son of Chidambaram being arrested?"


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