Two BJP leaders whose names figure in the Saradha chit fund case

An ex-Mamata confidant and a deputy CM will be following the stand-off between the Centre and the West Bengal government with great interest. Here's why

Published: 05th February 2019 04:03 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2019 04:17 PM   |  A+A-

(L) Himanta Biswa Sarma, (R) Mukul Roy (Photo|PTI)

By Online Desk

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is back on the streets and at her favourite protest venue 13 years after her first victorious agitation. 

This time around, she wants to "Save the Constitution" from the BJP and protect the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, who is accused of tampering with evidence in the Saradha chit fund case that has rocked the state.

It is probably the first time that a chief minister has gone out of the way to protect a top cop.  

Two BJP leaders - one, an ex-Mamata confidant and another, a deputy CM - will be following the stand-off between the Centre and the West Bengal government that is now gaining in intensity with great interest.

Mukul Roy (once Mamata's go-to man) and Himanta Biswa Sarma (the Assam Deputy CM) were both among the accused and had been questioned in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam prior to their joining the Bharatiya Janata Party. 

Roy, one of the founding members of the Trinamool Congress, was interrogated by the CBI for eight hours in 2015 in connection with the Ponzi scam. Following the quizzing, Roy was stripped of his general secretaryship and reduced to being only a TMC member. Banerjee quickly distanced herself from Roy, which led to him joining the BJP.

However, Roy has maintained that he was quizzed as a witness and not as an accused in the ponzi scam.  

The BJP at the state and Centre have been at loggerheads since Roy's entry into the party. While many welcomed his induction, hoping that he will help them make inroads into Bengal, the state BJP president Dilip Ghosh has been critical of Roy's entry. He even said that Roy will "not be a game changer for the party".

Mamata hasn't raised any accusations against Roy yet. But it is quite another matter with Sarma, whose name has been cropping up in the scam ever since the CBI raided his residence and offices in August 2014.

He allegedly received Rs 20 lakh per month from the Saradha chief Sudipta Sen to help the group run their business in Assam. Then came Sarma's entry into the BJP and his rise as the deputy CM. The heat on him has died down for the moment.

Banerjee, during her dharna at the Metro Channel in Esplanade, said, "I have enough evidence against the Assam deputy chief minister. I dare Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah to have him arrested. The CBI has already questioned him before".

It will now be interesting to see what happens to the duo if the CBI goes ahead full steam with their investigation.

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