The Central Bureau of Investigation has arrested prominent TMC leader and MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay in connection with the Rose Valley chit fund scam. With his arrest, two TMC MPs are now in CBI custody, with MP and former film star Tapas Pal being arrested last Friday. The MP had been asked to contact the bureau for questioning about his alleged role in the nearly Rs.17000 crore scam and appeared today after asking to be allowed to stay away on multiple occasions previously. He was arrested subsequently due to his unsatisfactory answers. The CM of West Bengal and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee accused the central government of intimidation tactics and vowed to fight back.
Sudip Bandyopadhyay had been summoned twice in December last year by the CBI but skipped the meeting each time stating his engagement in the then-ongoing Winter Parliamentary session. Reports suggest that the CBI questioned the MP today at his office in Kolkata. No official word from the CBI on why he was arrested has been received but sources suggest that he was unable to provide satisfactory answers when it came to his alleged involvement in the scam.The TMC chief has called an emergency meeting after Sudip’s arrest and declared in an act of defiance that PM Modi might arrest all of the party’s MPs but their protests against the government would continue. The TMC has been on a collision course with the central government after demonetisation was announced on November 8.
Mamata Banerjee reacted strongly to the news and attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi. CM Banerjee announced that Trinamool Congress would launch dharnas from Wednesday to protest against Sudip’s arrest. Both the MP and the TMC supremo claimed vendetta by the government. The CM also claimed that Narendra Modi was using the CBI, the ED and the IT department to hound and persecute her party and herself. She alleged that the centre was acting selectively against those parties and individuals who had voiced their concerns against demonetisation.
I challenge PM, he cannot do anything, can’t suppress the voice of the people: Mamata Banerjee,West Bengal CM pic.twitter.com/mHSLr8ZpJ1
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 3, 2017
The Rose Valley chit fund scam was orchestrated by owner Gautam Kundu, who is under custody for some time now, as well as other highly placed individuals. Estimates have placed the scam at an astounding Rs. 17000 crores, several times bigger than the other Ponzi scheme, Saradha, as reported here. The CBIfiled a charge sheet in the Rose Valley chit fund scam in January 2016 and claimed that Rose Valley duped crores of investors in West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan, MP, Tripura and Andhra Pradesh.