CBI arrests another TMC MP

Kolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday arrested Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP and editor of a Bengali newspaper Srinjoy Bose in connection with the multi crore Saradha scam.

Saradha Group Chairman Sudipto Sen had told CBI officials that Bose had forced him to pay Rs 60 lakhs per month to a newspaper and a television channel owned by him. Apart from the monthly dole of Rs 60 lakh, Bose allegedly used to extract huge amounts from Sen for other purposes. The CBI officials might interrogate Bose in front of Sen who is also in the CBI custody.

The CBI officials on Friday interrogated Bose for more than 6 hours. Since he kept changing his statements, the CBI officials decided to arrest him for further interrogation.

This is the second Rajya Sabha MP of the TMC to have been arrested by the CBI in connection with the Saradha scam. The MP in question, Kunal Ghosh, was the CEO of a media business of Sudipto Sen.

Political observers feel that Bose’s arrest is a big embarrassment for the ruling TMC. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is on record having defended Srinjoy Bose, Kunal Ghosh, West Bengal Transport Minister Madan Mitra and party’s second in command and former Union Railway Minister Mukul Roy on a number of occasions; she had even given them clean chits stating that they did not take money from the Saradha group.

The CBI had also summoned West Bengal Transport Minister and high profile TMC leader Madan Mitra, who did not turn up. Mitra, who was admitted in a private hospital, on Thursday suddenly left without informing the authorities and got admitted in a government-run hospital. This was possibly because he had an inkling of the summons: Mitra had allegedly attended a function organized by the Saradha group where he had shared the dais with Sudipto Sen.

Prime accused in the case, Kunal Ghosh, has repeatedly hinted at the involvement of some TMC ministers and other high profile leaders of the party in the scam. It is learnt that that the CBI sleuths also interrogated West Bengal Textile Minister Shyamapada Mukherjee for more than two hours. Mukherjee had sold a loss making cement factory situated in his home district Bankura to Sudipto Sen.

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