Saradha ghost returns as more officials, Trinamool candidates get summons ahead of polls

By Express News Service
KOLKATA:  With the state heading towards the first of its eight-phase poll schedule, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) swung into action on Friday and issued summons to two IAS officers, including a principal secretary, former director general of police and security advisor of Mamata Banerjee’s government.

Earlier on Friday, CBI interrogated two Trinamool Congress candidates in connection with the Saradha chit fund scam.

Madan Mitra, who is contesting from Kamarhati constituency, and Jorasanko candidate Vivek Gupta appeared before CBI sleuths.

Mitra, who has been fielded by the party from Kamarhati assembly constituency, was, in the past, arrested by the CBI for his alleged involvement in the case, and later granted bail.

“I will always co-operate with the central agency. They summoned me and I visited their office. They asked questions and I replied,’’ said Mitra.

Gupta, who is contesting the elections from Jorasanko seat, admitted that he knew Sudipto Sen, the owner of the blacklisted firm, and said he visited the ED office to submit income tax details.

The ED issued summons to principal secretary B Gopalika, asking him to visit its office on March 24 in connection with a probe into the controversial 2017 disinvestment of the West Bengal government’s stake in Metro Dairy, which was India’s first public-private partnership in the dairy sector.

The CBI summoned former IPS officers Surajit Kar Purkayastha and and Rajat Majumdar. Purkayastha is presently serving as security advisor to the state government, in connection with the Saradha scam.

Sources in the agency said Purkayastha was seen attending an event organised by Saradha and delivering a speech.

Majumdar, the former DGP of West Bengal, was earlier apprehended by the CBI in the chit fund case.

The Calcutta High Court later granted him bail.

The central agency also issued summons to IPS officer LN Meena, who was the commissioner of Asansol commissionerate, and IAS officer Arun Prasad, district magistrate of Bankura, in connection with a coal pilferage case.

Shah to release Bengal manifesto on Sunday

Union Minister for Home Affairs and former BJP chief Amit Shah will release the party’s manifesto for the West Bengal Assembly elections on Sunday.

The manifesto has been prepared on the basis of an outreach programme in which public suggestions were taken, on the lines of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Shah will be on a one-day visit of West Bengal to release the manifesto.

(With PTI Inputs)