In a setback for the Trinamool Congress, the Central Bureau ofInvestigation (CBI) on Monday summoned the party’s all India general secretary Mukul Roy in connection with the multi-crore Saradha scam.
CBI is understood to have mailed the summons notice to former railway minister Mukul Roy, a close aide of Mamata Banerjee. Roy was today also informed about the summons by CBI over phone.
Roy, who is currently in New Delhi, has sought two days’ time to appear before CBI.
“I am here for two days. Let me go back to Kolkata, then I’ll see. One thing I can say that I have never been associated with any sort of illegal or immoral activity,” Roy said, adding that he would cooperate with the CBI.
The TMC leader has reportedly been summoned on the basis of call records between Saradha promoter Sudipta Sen and Mukul Roy that the central agency is said to have. Roy’s name has often surfaced in connection with the Saradha scam but this is the first name that an official line of questioning is being opened against him.
TMC spokesperson Derek O’ Brien blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party for the move. “The nasty ploy of using CBI as a political tool by BJP continues,” he said. “They could not fight us politically in Bengal in Lok Sabha elections, so now these dirty tactics months before corporation elections. We will fight them – strongly, politically.”
“This is blatant vindictiveness. The so-called summons have not yet reached and BJP honchos are already giving bytes. Is the CBI being run by Narendra Modi’s office? Or by Amit Shah at BJP HQ?,” he added.
Former TMC MP Kunal Ghosh, who has already been arrested in relation to the scam, has in the past alleged that Roy had close links with Sen and was aware of Saradha’s business. There were also allegations that Roy met with Sen in April 2013 before the latter fled Kolkata after Saradha went bust. Several Saradha employees too have reportedly claimed before CBI that such a meeting indeed took place.
Pictures of Roy at the offices of Kolom, one of the many newspapers run by Sen, have surfaced earlier.
Left, BJP and Congress leaders, on the other hand, said the summons was along expected lines and demanded Roy’s arrest.
Two TMC Rajya Sabha MPs – Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose – and TMC vice-president Rajat Majumdar and state sports minister Madan Mitra are already in jail for their alleged involvement in the Saradha scam.