Former Trinamool Congress (TMC) Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh on Tuesday reached the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office at the GCO Complex in Kolkata in connection with the Saradha scam probe. This comes after the investigation agency on Monday had asked the TMC MP to appear with certain documents. Earlier, Kunal Ghosh was called for questioning by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the multi-crore chit fund scam just weeks after he was re-inducted into the TMC as a spokesperson in August last year. Following the questioning, Ghosh revealed that he would be appearing again the next week.
I appeared before ED officers today. I tried to cooperate with them. I will appear before them again next week. I have no complaints against ED officers who have questioned me: TMC leader Kunal Ghosh after appearing before ED in connection with the Saradha scam case https://t.co/kWP4ugP7N9 pic.twitter.com/oKY8JPdPz2— ANI (@ANI) March 2, 2021
This development comes in poll-bound West Bengal which has seen a heated exchange of words between the TMC and the BJP including remarks over the state government's alleged protection of those involved in the scam. Ghosh had been interrogated in the scam probe in 2013 and again in 2019, the latter along with former Kolkata CP Rajeev Kumar. The interim period had actually seen him leave the Trinamool in acrimony but he was later reappointed. He is currently out on bail in the case.
चोरी ऊपर से सीनाजोरी !!!@MamataOfficial जी चिट फंड में गरीब लोगों का करोडो रुपया खाने के बाद भी आप इतने अहंकार में क्यों है? ये सीबीआई की रिपोर्ट है जो सुप्रीम कोर्ट के पब्लिक डोमेन में है। उसके कुछ अंश है ये...— Kailash Vijayvargiya (@KailashOnline) December 28, 2020
शर्म करो ममताजी pic.twitter.com/EkkCpZb5Av
The Saradha Chit Fund scam was a Ponzi scheme that rocked the state of West Bengal in April 2013. Under the scheme, the Saradha Group, a consortium of over 200 private companies was accused of collecting thousands of crores of rupees from over 17 lakh depositors by running collective investment schemes. After its collapse in 2013, the TMC-led government of West Bengal formed an inquiry commission to investigate the case.
Alongside this, the Centre launched a multi-agency probe involving the Income Tax department and the ED. The Supreme Court in 2014 ultimately handed over the investigation to CBI to probe into possible international money laundering, serious regulatory failures and alleged political nexus concerning the scam.
Several ruling TMC leaders including Kunal Ghosh, Srinjoy Bose, former West Bengal Director General of Police Rajat Majumdar, Sports and Transport minister in the TMC government Madan Mitra were among the few arrested in the scam. TMC's Srinjoy Bose later quit from the party, a day after being given bail, resigning from the Rajya Sabha seat and quitting politics altogether. CM Mamata Banerjee had claimed 'political vendetta' by the BJP over the arrests.