Oct. 16: Suspended Trinamul MP Kunal Ghosh today said he had been called to Delhi tomorrow by the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO), a wing of the Union corporate affairs ministry, in connection with the Saradha default.
“I have been asked to appear before an SFIO probe team in Delhi tomorrow…. Whichever agency investigates the Saradha scam, I am ready to co-operate. I am going prepared to face questions,” Ghosh said this evening.
The party suspended Ghosh after he said at an event in Calcutta that he would not be made a “scapegoat” and allow the Saradha issue to fizzle out.
Although sources in Delhi confirmed that Ghosh had been summoned, they declined comment when asked if others were under the SFIO’s scanner. “It is part of the investigation process…. As and when necessary, people connected with the Saradha scam will be called,” a source said.
Trinamul leaders today said there were “hidden motives” behind the move to summon Ghosh. They added the suspended MP could cause embarrassment to the party by dropping names.
“Everybody knows Ghosh has an axe to grind with the party. There are hidden motives behind the decision to question him at this stage,” a Trinamul MP close to Mamata Banerjee said.
A special task force of the SFIO was set up to investigate the operations of 63 “chit fund companies”, including those run by the Saradha Group, after the default crisis surfaced this April.
In an interim report submitted by the SFIO last month, it found “serious financial mismanagement and siphoning off of funds by the promoters of these outfits”. A final report is expected by December.
Fourteen Saradha Group entities, including Saradha Realty India, Saradha Agro Development and Saradha Exports, have been named by the SFIO in its interim report.
Ghosh, who was the executive chairman of Saradha’s media wing, had earlier suggested a CBI probe into the default.