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Saradha: Bengal Congress hits street to protest against Sibal

In an unprecedented move, the West Bengal unit of Congress today held one of its biggest rallies in recent times to protest against party leader Kapil Sibal’s decision to represent the Trinamool Congress government in Supreme Court.

“If protest against the Saradha (chit fund) scam, people will not believe us, following Sibal’s decision. This will be the fallout. I strongly oppose this and am writing to Sonia Gandhi on this. This cannot be tolerated,” said state party president Adhir Chowdhury.

Amid reports that Sibal had consulted the party high command before deciding to fight the legal battle for Mamata Banerjee-government, Adhir Chowdhury said, “We cannot let it go. We will raise the matter with High Command. If someone thinks that professional gain is more important than the party’s then there should be no place for that person. As long as I am the chief of Pradesh Congress, Kapil Sibal will be boycotted by Bengal Congress,” he added, at a rally attended by thousands of Congress workers.

Incidentally, Congress leader C P Joshi was expected to attend the rally, but did not turn up, as he was apparently unable to catch the flight due to traffic in Delhi.

Meanwhile, some Congress leaders in the state described this move by Sibal as the “final nail in the coffin” for the Congress in West Bengal, with some showing concern of a mass exodus of party leaders and workers as a fall out. This has also led to a speculation about Congress-TMC alliance in future, something the state unit is not in favour of.

While handing over the Saradha case to the CBI in April, 2013, Supreme Court had noted there was no need to monitor the investigation at that point of time, but would do so if need arises. Incidentally, it was West Bengal Congress leader Abdul Mannan, who had moved the apex court seeking a CBI probe and it was on his plea that Supreme Court ordered a CBI investigation.

Congress leader and former law minister Kapil Sibal today filed the petition on behalf of the West Bengal government arguing the need had arisen. The government petition has sought a court- monitored probe on the ground alleging there have been selective and deliberate leaks in the investigation so far to benefit a political party.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing within this week.While Kapil Sibal would appear for the state government, former Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tanka was likely to represent the Trinamool Congress, which has filed a separate petition with a similar plea.

CBI has recently summoned TMC all India general secretary Mukul Roy in Saradha case.CBI had earlier arrested TMC MP Srinjoy Bose and West Bengal minister Madan Mitra in this case. Former TMC Kunal Ghosh was arrested in Saradha scam by state police even before CBI was handed over the case.

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