The ruling Trinamool Congress came under more pressure over its alleged links with the tainted Saradha group, with a suspended Rajya Sabha MP on Tuesday accusing chief minister Mamata Banerjee of trying to save the accused.
"The chief minister is trying to save those involved in the Saradha scam," Kunal Ghosh, who was suspended by the TMC, said outside the Salt Lake SDJM court lockup before being produced in connection with one of the several cases pending against him.
He also claimed that state transport minister Madan Mitra should have been summoned in connection with the scam.
Only a day after Sudipta Sen, the chief of the scam-tainted Saradha Group, rubbished rumours about his purchase of paintings by the chief minister, Ghosh indicated Sen was not speaking the truth to shield the ruling party.
"On April 10, April 11 and April 12, I met Sudipta Sen at Alipore Central Jail, where I asked him some questions relating to the painting controversy. Whatever he told me then is not matching with what he said on Monday," Ghosh said.
Directly charging the chief minister and her party of shielding the Saradha scamsters, Ghosh also said that state transport and sports minister Madan Mitra and Kolkata police commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha should have been questioned much before in relation to the scam.
"Why shouldn't the police commissioner explain why he was present in the programme of Saradha Group? Why did the minister certify Saradha as a credible company in presence of thousands of agents?" Ghosh asked.
The MP who was expelled from Trinamool for his anti-party stand on Saradha also said that agencies probing the Saradha scam should interrogate him and Sen together in presence of each other and this would reveal the truth.
Meanwhile, the CPI(M) central committee member, Gautam Deb alleged that the chief minister, since the beginning, had been making contradictory statements regarding the money collecting through auction of her painting.
State BJP president Rahul Sinha and the state Congress president Adhir Chowdhury also slammed the chief minister over the alleged purchase of her paintings by the Saradha Group.
BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi had alleged that a painting by the Trinamool Congress supremo had sold for a staggering Rs 1.8 crore and asked who had bought her painting for such a huge amount.