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New Bill Against Chitfunds a Ploy: CPI(M)

CPI(M) today alleged that the new bill against chitfunds was a ploy by Mamata Banerjee government to buy time to bail out the Saradha Group, acharge rejected by the ruling Trinamool Congress.

"The present government wants to bail out the company and therefore instead of getting the President's nod for the 2009 bill passed during the Left regime, they are going ahead with a new bill which will be a time-consuming process," CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose told reporters.

Bose that the bill would meet the same fate as the Singur bill.

Asked whether the LF would support the bill, he said, "It is not a question of our supporting or opposing. The Left Front Legislature party will meet and take a decision."

Alleging that the Trinamool Congress was hand in glove with the Saradha Group, he said "the chief minister cannot shirk her responsibilitys."

Countering Bose, Industry minister Partha Chatterjee accused the Left Front government of allowing chitfunds to thrive even after it came to its notice as early as 2003.

Defending the new bill to protect investors, he said, "Who are they to allege that this government is trying to cause delay? What have they done since 2003?"

He said that the state government had set up enquiry commission into the chitfund scam in 48 hours and arrested the main accused in 72 hours.

He alleged that two television channels with Left leanings were funded by chitfunds.

Chatterjee said it was the CPI(M) which feared immediate polls and had gone to court.

"We are ready to face any election be it panchayat or Lok Sabha any time," he said.

Asked about MP Kunal Ghosh, Chatterjee said he had no information about any letter written by him to the chief minister.

When asked about the presence of the Tripura chief minister in various programmes of NBFCs as alleged by the Congress in that state, Bose said "I cannot say. I have seen it on TV. I will talk to him. But the Manik Sarkar government has already enacted a bill for winding up of chitfund companies."

Reiterating the demand for a CBI probe, Bose said that it was necessary as the operations of the Saradha Group were spread across Assam, Jharkhand, Orissa besides West Bengal.

Asked whether the party demanded the arrest of the TMC MP Kunal Ghosh, a former CEO Saradha's media group, the CPI(M) leader said "steps should be taken as per law."

He also said that state government should give details of the chartered flight by which chief minister returned to Kolkata on April 10 after she fell ill in Delhi.

"Who funded the expenditure for this flight and who accompanied her?" he asked, adding that the CM should have come by an air ambulance provided by the Centre instead of a chartered flight.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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