BJP banks on these two trump cards to beat Mamata Banerjee in 2019: Report

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New Delhi | Updated: June 4, 2018 3:59:15 PM

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as the main challenger to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal

LOK SABHA ELECTION 2019 IN WEST BENGAL TMC VS BJPBJP wants to utilize probes into Saradha scam and Rose valley Ponzi scheme ahead of the General Elections for political gains since a number of TMC ministers, leaders and prominent personalities are accused in these cases

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has emerged as the main challenger to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) in West Bengal. The saffron party’s performance in recently-concluded West Bengal panchayat elections and Assembly bypoll confirm this. However, the BJP will face a litmus test in the state in Lok Sabha Elections 2019. With just one year to go for the polls, top brass of the saffron party is striving to win as many constituencies as possible out of 42 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

BJP wants to utilize probes into Saradha scam and Rose valley Ponzi scheme ahead of the General Elections for political gains since a number of TMC ministers, leaders and prominent personalities are accused in these cases, according to a report by Bengali daily Anandbazar Patrika. CBI, which has been probing into these Ponzi schemes, wants to continue with its investigation into Saradha and Rose valley cases, the report adds.

So far, the CBI has submitted six and three charge-sheets in connection with Saradha scam and Rose valley matters respectively. According to the report, CBI has claimed there may be a few “influential personalities” involved in these two cases and identities of them are yet to be ascertained.

Earlier this month, Union minister Prakash Javadekar had claimed that findings of the CBI investigation into the Saradha chit-fund scam will be out soon and people involved will go to jail. The Central Bureau of Investigation is probing the chit-fund scam following a 2014 Supreme Court order, about a year after the ponzi scheme collapsed in West Bengal and Odisha.

“We are not silent. The inquiry is on and the result will be there and people behind the Saradha scam will go to jail. The investigation is on. Just wait,” Javadekar was quoted as saying by PTI.

Several ministers and leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal have been named for their alleged involvement in the scam case. Former sports and transport minister Madan Mitra, TMC MPs Srinjoy Ghosh and Kunal Ghosh, former West Bengal DGP Rajat Majumdar and top football club official Debabrata Sarkar were arrested in connection with the case.

In March,Enforcement Directorate (ED) had attached assets worth Rs 2,300 crore, including two dozen hotels and resorts, in connection with its money laundering probe into Rose Valley ponzi scam case. This was one of the single largest attachment of properties order issued by the central probe agency under the PMLA, according to PTI.

The ED had registered an FIR against the firm, its Chairman Gautam Kundu and others in 2014 under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Kundu was arrested by the agency in Kolkata in 2015. The group had allegedly floated a total of 27 companies for running the alleged chit fund operations out of which only half-a-dozen were active, the report said.

The agency has alleged that the firm had floated the scheme promising inflated returns on investments between eight and 27 percent to gullible investors in various states. The company had allegedly pledged astronomical returns to depositors on land properties and assets and bookings done in the real estate sector. The company has also been accused of making “cross investments” in its various sister firms to suppress its liabilities towards investors. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had probed the company before the ED and the CBI registered cases against the group, according to the report.

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