In what could perhaps expose the nexus between politicians and the chit-find industry in Bengal, Saradha Group chief Sudipta Sen has sent an 18-page letter to the CBI alleging that several top politicians and officials in the state blackmailed him for two years.
In a letter dated 6 April, 2013, Sen threatened to commit suicide and wrote that he "...cannot live in a society where people call me cheat or fraud or use slang against me," since unscrupulous people had collected money from the public in his name.
Sen not only described his close links with two Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha members, but also listed 22 persons who "used him" to make money.
The Saradha Group head alleged that he forayed into media business because he initially came under vicious attack from the Pratidin newspaper, which is represented by TMC MP Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose.
According to a CNN IBN report, Sen further alleged that he entered an agreement with Pratidin after he bought Channel 10 that 'he shall pay 60 lakhs per month to Pratidin and apart from that Kunal Ghosh will be appointed the CEO of the channel at a salary of Rs 15 lakh per month'.
Sen alleged that Kunal Ghosh, the CEO of his media business attacked him and forcefully made him sign papers which said that he has 'sold Channel 10 to them for a meagre amount of Rs 55 lakh, which can never happen'.
Sen said that because of his agreement with Pratidin, he was promised his business would be protected from the state and central governments.
However, TMC MP Srinjoy Bose denied the allegations and said his company's tie-up with Saradha group was a professional one.
According to a report in the Indian Express, "The letter allegedly describes how Sen had been "forced" to take over an ailing and loss-making motorbike manufacturing unit in Polba near Singur by a business lobby close to the Trinamool Congress government. It alleges that the TMC MPs promised Sen a free run in his businesses, without any government interruption and intervention."
However, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee today rejected all charges against the Trinamool Congress and blamed the Centre and the previous Left government for the chit-fund scam. Announcing a Rs 500 crore relief package for scam-hit small and medium depositors, Mamata proposed a 10 percent hike on tobacco products in the state to raise money for the relief fund.
Meanwhile, the state government has frozen Sudipta's Sen's bank accounts, seized his cars and four office buildings in and around Kolkata. Also, the government appointed judicial commission will start receiving complaints of investors from Monday.