Mamata Banerjee pays tribute to Tapas Paul, says ‘Centre’s pressure claimed so many lives’
West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress boss Mamata Banerjee lashed out at the Centre while paying tribute to former party MP Tapas Paul who died in Mumbai on Monday.
“Central government’s pressure has claimed so many lives. Three people died due to this pressure by the agencies. Sultan Ahmed (former TMC MP), TMC MP Prasun Banerjee’s wife passed away and now Tapas Paul,” said Banerjee.
“People are being jailed but central agencies have not been able to prove their involvement or conclude what crime they committed. If someone commits a crime, they must face action. But we still don’t know what crime did Tapas Paul and others commit,” she added.
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Paul, who was elected to the Lower House of Parliament from Krishnanagar constituency in 2009 and 2014, passed away following a cardiac arrest in Mumbai. He was 61.
The last few years of his life were riddled with controversies. In 2015, Paul was questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the Saradha chit fund case. In 2016, the agency arrested him in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. He was in custody for 13 months before a court in Odisha gave him bail.
The Bengali actor-politician was a board member of Rose Valley Marketing India Ltd and Idea Projects Ltd - two companies of the group - for brief periods over two financial years since 2009.
The Trinamool Congress held the Centre guilty of “mentally torturing” him and pursuing “political vendetta” against him, a charge rejected as “baseless” by the BJP, which said the actor paid for the “sins” of his party who had used him as a scapegoat.
Several top Trinamool leaders have either been jailed or named in the multi-crore Saradha scam that has allegedly defrauded millions of people - mostly poor - by promising returns higher than what banks offer.