The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has summoned Subhendu Adhikari, a Trinamool Congress parliamentarian, for questioning in connection with the Saradha scam. The agency has also summoned Rabin Deb, a CPI(M) leader and former state minister.
Both have been asked to appear before CBI officers at the Central Government Office complex at Salt Lake.
While Deb is the first Left leader to summoned in the Saradha connection, the questioning of Adhikari will increase the discomfort for the Bengal’s ruling party.
Between themselves, the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate have already questioned a number of Trinamool MPs. They are MPs Kunal Ghosh (now expelled), Arpita Ghosh, Mithun Chakravarty and Srinjoy Bose. Apart from Arpita Ghosh, the rest are Rajya Sabha MPs.
According to sources, Adhikari’s name has surfaced a number of times during the interrogation of several leaders as well as Saradha employees especially those who worked in the accounts department.
Apparently, Adhikari has information on the groups projects in East Midnapore, the district where Adhikari has a formidable presence.
The Saradha scam was caused by the collapse of an investment operation from the Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies that was running many unlicensed financial schemes in eastern India.
The group folded up in April last year, resulting in the loss of hundreds of crores to thousands of investors — largely from rural areas with little access to formal banking facilities.
The Saradha scam has turned into a major embarrassment for West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee who stands accused of trying to shield some of the beneficiaries of Saradha’s slush funds.