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'PM Modi, Arrest Me,' Says Mamata Banerjee After Her Minister Madan Mitra is Caught in Saradha Scam

Posted On : 2014-12-12 19:38:53
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West Bengal Minister Madan Mitra was arrested on Friday in the Saradha chit fund case, in growing trouble for the government of Mamata Banerjee.

West Bengal Minister Madan Mitra was arrested on Friday in the Saradha chit fund case, in growing trouble for the government of Mamata Banerjee. "I dare the Prime Minister and the BJP leadership to arrest me," the Chief Minister challenged, alleging vindictive politics by the Centre.

Mr Mitra is the first minister of the ruling Trinamool Congress to be arrested in the scam in which lakhs of people were cheated out of their savings. Two party MPs, Srinjoy Bose and Kunal Ghosh, were arrested earlier.

Mr Mitra is known to be one of Mamata Banerjee s most trusted aides and a founder member of the party. Last month, after being summoned by the CBI, the minister had checked himself into hospital.

He was seen in video clips praising Saradha Group chairman Sudipto Sen at a meeting of Saradha agents and allegedly enjoyed benefits like a car, fuel and driver at the company s expense. He allegedly also extracted donations out of Sudipto Sen for a temple.

Trinamool leaders said they anticipated this "vindictive move" after BJP president Amit Shah s recent rally in Kolkata. "This is a dangerous and disastrous game. This is undemocratic, unethical and unconstitutional," the Chief Minister said, vowing protests in Bengal and Delhi.

Reacting to the charge, the BJP chief said, "CBI is doing their work."

The Saradha Group operated a Ponzi scheme offering massive returns of 40 per cent and more until it collapsed last year, leaving lakhs of small investors bankrupt in West Bengal and Odisha.

With today s arrest, three of the four leaders that the Chief Minister had strongly defended at a party meeting last year are now in jail. She had then asked rhetorically, "Are they thieves? Am I a thief?"

In November, suspended Trinamool MP Kunal Ghosh had allegedly overdosed on sleeping pills in jail. The lawmaker had threatened in court that he would take his own life if the "real beneficiaries" of the chit fund scam were not arrested. He has alleged that top leaders of his party are being shielded.

Reference : ndtv
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