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Chit fund plea to PM

New Delhi, Dec. 19: Left MPs today met the Prime Minister and demanded an inquiry against Bengal’s “dubious” chit funds, saying they were launching newspapers and channels patronised by Trinamul.

The CPM’s Sitaram Yechury described the funds — the trigger for last week’s Assembly brawl — as “potential risks”.

“These chit fund companies are turning into potential risks as the money collected from the poor is being used to fund print and electronic media. Given the culture of paid news, these mediums would be used as tools of intimidation and extortion,” Yechury said after he met Manmohan Singh in Parliament and submitted a memorandum along with MPs of the four Left parties.

The move to knock on the Centre’s doors is being seen as an attempt to turn the heat on the Mamata Banerjee government at the national level.

Basudeb Acharia, the CPM’s leader in the Lok Sabha who was also part of the team, claimed the Prime Minister had promised “required action”.

He said Singh was told that a probe into chit funds started by the Left government had been stopped by the Trinamul administration.

“We told the Prime Minister that the (current) investigation into alleged financial irregularities by these companies being held by Sebi should be expedited and action should be taken as huge amounts of money collected from the poor was at stake,” Acharia said.

The memorandum said at least 50 chit funds had raised over Rs 15,000 crore by making “unrealisable promises”.

Acharia said the state did not have any law at present to curb the illegal activities of such funds.