Curiously, there was no action against BJP minister Babul Supriyo or actress turned BJP MP Roopa Ganguly both of whom had close links with the same chit-fund company. When asked why the CBI acted with such alacrity against the TMC MP and not the BJP leaders, an official said: “We have no evidence against these BJP leaders.”
Pal was interrogated for four hours. As he failed to give a proper reply to any of the questions on his appointment as a director to one of the Rose Valley companies or his involvement in the firm investing in Bengali film industry, the CBI decided to arrest him, the official said. The probe agency is likely to take him to Bhubaneswar for further questioning.
CBI had issued summons to Tapas Pal on December 27 in connection with the alleged scam, which is one of the cases of the chit fund scams being probed by the investigating agency. He was asked to appear before the agency at its office in Salt Lake in Kolkata on Friday. “So now political atrocities against those opposed to Note Bandi and with the movement. We will fight it out,” TMC national spokesperson Derek O’Brien said claiming that the party and its leaders were being targeted by BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for protesting against demonetisation.
“Many film stars, directors, sports persons are brand ambassadors. So what next? Those from BIP (sic) who are brand ambassadors will also be? Right?,” O’Brien, who is TMC’s leader in Rajya Sabha, said.
Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee called for the Prime Minister to step down for failing to keep the promise made to the nation 50 days ago at a media briefing at the state secretariat in Kolkata. “ The Prime Minister had sought 50 days from the nation to address inconvenience caused to ordinary citizens on account of demonetisation. 50 days are over and there is no end to the woes of ordinary citizens. He promised to bring black money. The poorest have suffered the most. Small traders, migrant workers have been driven to despair. MSMEs and the agriculture have been dealt with a deadly blow. To benefit 50 rich families the entire country has been held to ransom. The Prime Minister should step down and someone else in the BJP should replace him after all the party enjoys a majority in Lok Sabha. I am ready to support a national government.” Banerjee wondered whether if even Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was kept in the loop by Modi before rolling out the draconian demonetisation move. Ordinary citizens had lost their faith in banks and the banking system as a result of this move, she pointed out.
She questioned why the PM was so aggressively promoting a digital payment company that was blacklisted in the US. “ Won’t that compromise national security? Do they have a fool-proof mechanism to ensure that customer’s details are safe?”
The Bengal CM described the arrest of TMC MP Tapas Pal as a clear case of vendetta politics. “ The Modi government is targetting our MPs for our opposition to the demonetisation move.” She asked why BJP’s Babul Supriyo and Roopa Ganguly who enjoyed the hospitality of the chit fund company were not being questioned by the CBI.
Banerjee also said that the ruling party BJP is connected to Pearls group chit fund scam worth Rs 55,000 crore where over 5.5 crore investors were duped. In the largest ever chit fund scam in the country, Nirmal Bhangoo’s Pearls group raised investments from over 5.5 crore gullible investors through collective investment scheme under the garb of sale and development of agricultural land. Despite damning evidence against the promoter, the CBI was going slow against Bhangoo. No political leader was questioned.