The Telegraph
Saturday , April 26 , 2014
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Chidambaram hits back at Mamata, denies prodding ED in Saradha case

New Delhi, Apr 26 (PTI & Online Bureau): Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday rejected allegations by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that the Enforcement Directorate had acted in the Saradha scam at his behest.

“I do not monitor or give directions in individual cases,” he said, adding that investigations in this particular case are in the wake of a Calcutta High Court order.

On April 16, the day before voting for a clutch of Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal, the ED, which is under the Union finance ministry, had arrested Saradha chairman Sudipta Sen’s second wife, and a son by his first wife. Both had been in hiding.

The ruling TMC immediately read a conspiracy in the timing of the arrests.

Mamata, whose party is facing the heat in the midst of Lok Sabha elections in West Bengal, accused Chidambaram of prodding central agencies to target Trinamool Congress leaders.

“Since election has come, you have sent the Enforcement Directorate, Chidambaram babu....I have heard that your wife's name is there in the Saradha complaint. I have seen the FIR copy... Law will take its own course,” the Chief Minister added.

Replying to questions about Mamata's charge against his wife, Chidambaram said that this has been clarified eight months ago that she had had appeared as a professional and was advising another woman who had contemplated business transaction.

He said that the remuneration for his wife for this was received through a cheque.

“The Chief Minister is free to make allegations but why she is concerned about people who have been charged with wrong doing. CM should be concerned with victims of wrongdoings,” the finance minister said.

He said that if ED had taken any action in the case, it has taken on its own and he was not even briefed on this as he was away for last three weeks.