Prez's son, daughter took Saradha money: minister

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Apr 21, 2014 15:26 IST

The highest office of the land has finally been dragged in West Bengal's Saradha chit fund scam.

West Bengal sports minister Madan Mitra has challenged the Enforcement Directorate to reveal the amount of money taken by President Pranab Mukherjee's son and daughter in the Saradha scam.

"I challenge the ED to declare how many crores of Saradha money was taken by the son and daughter of the former Congress leader who now adorns the highest office of the land," said Mitra on Sunday evening without naming Mukherjee in his speech.

He was addressing an election rally in Ketugram. Ketugram is in Burdwan district and is a part of the Bolpur constituency.

The President's son, Abhijit Mukherjee, is a Congress candidate from Jangipur in Murshidabad district.

The Congress party has denied Mitra's charges.

"Madan Mitra is showing signs of lunacy. We will lodge a complaint with the Election Commission against him," said Pradip Bhattacharya, a senior party leader.

From the same podium, Mitra also raised the question why won't the former Reserve Bank governor be arrested since he approved the setting up of the company.

"Whatever they (Centre/Congress) do, will be till May 15. After May 16, the 10 crore people of Bengal will gherao the jails," thundered Mitra at the rally.

The opposition has alleged Mitra himself had benefited from the scam as he endorsed the company and the man behind it, Sudipta Sen, at the company's forums.

Mitra was also nominated as the union leader of the Saradha employees by Sen himself.

The Saradha scam has come back to the centrestage of Bengal's political arena during the election season with the ED arresting the son and wife of the Saradha chairman last week.

Both Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial pick Narendra Modi and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi have attacked Banerjee on the Saradha issue with Gandhi saying a CBI inquiry will reveal all. Trinamool Congress has been opposing a CBI probe in the scam.

A fresh round of high decibel war has started with the opposition parties gunning for Trinamool leaders who, they have alleged, have benefitted from Saradha.

Kunal Ghosh, the Rajya Sabha MP who was expelled from Trinamool for his anti-party statements on Saradha, is now in jail and is seeking CBI inquiry to expose all the culprits.

Banerjee has already alleged that the wife of finance minister P Chidambaram is involved in the scam and she should be arrested too. She has also dared the ED to arrest her.

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