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Rail deal before my term: Roy

- Mukul speaks about probe when asked about Saradha deals

Calcutta, Sept. 2: Trinamul all-India general secretary Mukul Roy today distanced himself from the deal between the railways and the Saradha Group, saying such arrangements were in place before he became the railway minister.

Replying to a question on the deal, in which Saradha was tasked with promoting a budget travel, accommodation and food to pilgrims and covers pilgrim centres, Roy said: “Aamar kichhu jana nei, karan chukti gulo jokhon hoy, ami jokhon dayitwa nei, tar agey hoyechhe (I don’t know anything about it because the deals were struck before I took charge).”

Mamata Banerjee was the railway minister between May 2009 and May 2011, during which the deal with Saradha Tours and Travels was struck. Trinamul’s Dinesh Trivedi succeeded Mamata as the railway minister. But when Trivedi proposed a railway fare hike in the March 2012 budget, Mamata ensured his removal from Rail Bhavan. Roy took over and continued as the railway minister till September 2012, when Trinamul walked out of UPA II.

After Trinamul’s exit, Saradha fell off the railway radar.

At a news conference at Trinamul Bhavan, Roy refused to “go into details”.

“I don’t know anything about that. When one thing has been done, it should be investigated and decided,” he said when asked again about the deal.

Elaborating on the investigation, Roy said: “CAG aachhe, railway audit aachhe. Everything aachhe (The CAG is there, so is the railway audit. Everything is there).”

The Trinamul leader criticised the CBI over the Saradha probe, during the course of which the names of several politicians have cropped up.

“The CBI is an absolutely political organisation. Just a few months ago, we had seen the man, who is now in the Prime Minister’s chair, being interrogated by the CBI for 19 hours. The present BJP chief (Amit Shah) was taken into their custody and is yet to be acquitted. The CBI is absolutely a political organisation and is acting on a political basis,” Roy said.

“Earlier, we used to call it the Congress Bureau of Investigation. It has only changed hands now. Everything else about the organisation remains the same…. It is a political organisation and is acting like one. The CBI works according to someone’s instructions,” Roy added.

On August 28, chief minister Mamata had assured the CBI of all help, after fighting tooth and nail in courts against a probe by the agency into the Saradha scam.

Bengal BJP president Rahul Sinha said: “Trinamul is seeing the BJP’s ghost in the CBI probe because the agency has turned its focus on Trinamul ministers and leaders. The BJP is not influencing the probe in any way,” Sinha said.

“If Trinamul leaders feel that the CBI is being used politically, they can move the Supreme Court,” he added.