Asserting that democracy is under grave threat under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, a furious West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday alleged that the arrest of Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sudip Bandopadhyay in connection with the Rose Valley group chit-fund scam was a ploy by the BJP-led Centre facing opposition post demonetisation.
Expressing her ire over Bandyopadhyay’s arrest, Mamata said that she would fight the battle legally and seek justice from the court.
The TMC supremo said Prime Minister Modi does not understand Indian politics, adding he should be arrested along with Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah for their vindictive attitude.
“Many political parties are scared, but are not able to speak out openly. A situation similar to Emergency is going on in the country,” Banerjee told the media here.
“The people should come out on the streets against the demonetisation move and teach them a lesson. If they think that we won’t protest after the arrest (of Sudip Bandopadhyay), they are wrong,” she added.
The Chief Minister, who will hold a meeting with the TMC MPs at party headquarter at 5 p.m., challenged Prime Minister Modi and said that he would not be successful in his motive to suppress the voice of the people.
The TMC chief had earlier said that Bandopadhyay has been arrested for no reason.
“We strongly condemn the political vindictive attitude of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. For no reasons arrests have been made. Only reason is #NoteBandi. We will be with the people. This is not only financial emergency. This is full-fledged emergency,” she tweeted.
Bandopadhyay was arrested hours after being questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the scam.
“I have come to clarify my position on whatever questions they have,” he told the media in New Delhi before he went inside the CBI office for questioning.
Bandopadhyay, who is the second TMC lawmaker to be arrested in connection with this scam, was summoned twice in December last year by the CBI.
Earlier on December 30 last year, actor-turned-politician Tapas Pal was arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the scam.
Pal’s daughter Sohini too appeared before the CBI for the second time today for interrogation in Bhubaneswar, Odisha.
Pal, an MP from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar constituency, is believed to be a former director with the Rose Valley group presently is in the eye of a storm for a chit-fund scam said to be allegedly bigger than the Saradha scam.
The CBI had raided Pal’s residence last year and the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is also probing the scam, has sealed over 2,600 bank accounts across the country.
The Rose Valley scam is said to be seven times bigger than the Saradha scam.
The West Bengal-based group allegedly robbed millions of investors, most of them from the low-income group, in at least 10 states by promising exaggerated returns.
The group was into real estate, films, media, jewellery, hotels and resorts.
Rose Valley owner Gautam Kundu and several officials are behind bars for the past one year.