Pushed on the backfoot with the Supreme Court ordering a CBI inquiry into the Saradha chit fund scam — something that she had been vehemently refusing — West Bengal Chief Minister Friday tried to present a brave face against the opposition onslaught even as she sought to turn the tide in her favour by saying that she wanted to return the money to the investors but cannot now.
“I was returning the money to the poor from the government fund...The onus of returning the investors’ money now should rest on the CBI. Let the CBI return it,” Mamata said while campaigning for her party in Berhampore.
The Mamata Banerjee government had formed a one-man commission of enquiry of Justice (retd) Shyamal Sen and set up a corpus of Rs 500 crore to pay back the investors, numbering into lakhs.
Stating that chit funds were governed by the Centre and not the state, Mamata said, “Who governs chit funds? It is not under the state government but the central government. Why did you sleep for 30 years? Why did you keep silent during CPM rule (in Bengal)? This is my complaint.”
She also brushed aside the judgment having any political ramifications for her party coming as it does just two days ahead of the last round of polling in Lok Sabha elections on May 12.
“They (the Opposition) are thinking that the CBI enquiry was ordered just two days before before the election. What does it matter to me? Truth will come out. Fire cannot be covered with ashes,” she They have said whatever they wanted to”, she said.
The opposition has alleged that Trinamool Congress had close links with Sudipta Sen, chairman of the now bust Saradha Group.