NEW DELHI: The issue of ponzi schemes cheating small investors of crores of rupees in West Bengal was raised today in Rajya Sabha, leading to a clash between arch-rivals CPI-M and TMC.
Raising the issue of mushrooming of non-banking finance companies in West Bengal and adjoining states through a Zero Hour mention, Ritabrata Banerjee (CPI-M) said 18 lakh people have lost money in the Shardha chit-fund scam.
An estimated Rs 2,500 crore has been swindled and 99 people, who lost their money in the Shardha scam, have committed suicide, he said.
Over Rs 60,000 crore have been collected under 135 ponzi schemes, he said adding Rose Valley Company has collected Rs 15,000 crore in last three-and-half years.
An ED raid led to seizure of Rs 295 crore from a single office of the company, he said, adding money looted in Shardha scam has reportedly been channeled to terror camps in Bangaladesh.
He alleged that Shardha chit-fund scam accused bought West Bengal Chief Minister's painting for crores or rupees. "People of Bengal will give a fitting reply," he said.
This triggered a sharp reaction from TMC with its leader Sukhendu Sekhar Roy questioning as to how the issue was allowed to be raised when the CBI is investigating the issue under Supreme Court supervision.
The CBI has not named the Chief Minister in the scam, he said demanding that the Chair expunge the reference to the Chief Minister.
Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said he will look into the records. "If any name is mentioned... if that person cannot come here and defend, all such names will be expunged."
Veer Singh (BSP) demanded constitution of a bench of High Court in Western Uttar Pradesh to fulfill the long-pending aspiration of people of the region. Allahabad, where the High Court is situated, is very far from western Uttar Pradesh and lawyers are on strike for past one month, he said.
Mahendra Singh Mahra (Cong) raised the issue of cut in kerosene quota of Uttrakhand which has led to severe shortage of cooking fuel in the state.
Vijaylaxmi Sadho (Cong) raised the issue of discrimination against tribal students in rural schools in Madhya Pradesh.
She quoted a published survey to state that tribal children are made to eat mid-day meal only in utensils that have their name embossed and form separate queues for toilet and drinking water.
In Dhar district, tribals are required to present photographs of their families skinning dead animals for availing entitlements, she said.
Ravi Prakash Verma (SP) sought allocation of Rs 3000 crore for completion of incomplete rural road projects under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana.