Painter Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharya, known to be close to the Trinamool Congress leadership, has been summoned by the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) for his dealings with Saradha’s Sudipta Sen.
Bhattacharya, who was earlier quizzed by the Enforcement Directorate, will probably be making an appearance next week.
The deal in question is the sale of Devkripa Vyapar Pvt Ltd, the holding company of Akhon Samay, a news channel that never went of air. Bhattacharya had sold the channel to Sen in 2011 for Rs 5.30 crore. The painter had earlier claimed that Rs 30 lakh was still due. He was, however, not available for comments today.
Devkripa was incorporated in 2006, but got uplinking permission on April 15, 2010. There were allegations that Mamata Banerjee, then Railway Minister, had helped to quicken the process. Bhattacharya was also the chairman of Railways’ Passenger Amenities Committee during Banerjee’s term.
Around the same time, Bhattacharya ran a high decibel campaign “Paribartan Chai” in Bengal, along with other intellectuals that played a significant role in overthrowing the Left regime in 2011. Hoardings, rallies screamed “Paribartan Chai” throughout the state.
Currently, Bhattacharya is the chairman of West Bengal Heritage Commission, a statutory body under the West Bengal government.
Along with Bhattacharya, textiles minister, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, could also be questioned by CBI. He was earlier summoned by the ED. If that happens then Mukherjee would be the first minister to be questioned in the Saradha case. Last month, CBI had arrested former DGP and senior TMC leader, Rajat Majumdar.