Rose Valley Cheques for BJP Traced to Andaman
Kolkata Police steps up probe after the CBI last month arrested Trinamool’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay for his involvement in .₹ 17,000-crore scam
Kolkata: After the Trinamool Congress, it is the BJP’s turn to face the heat in the .₹ 17,000-crore Rose Valley group deposit-taking scam.
Investigators have traced at least three cheques amounting to more than .₹ 1 lakh issued in favour of the BJP in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, during the years when the Rose Valley group had an active business in the area.
The Kolkata Police appears to have stepped up its probe after the Central Bureau of Investigation last month arrested Sudip Bandyopadhyay, the leader of Trinamool Congress’ parliamentary party in Lok Sabha, for his alleged involvement in the Rose Valley group scam which is estimated to be six times bigger than the earlier Saradha group scam.
BJP’s Bishnu Pada Ray, three-term Lok Sabha member from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, told ET, “The Rose Valley group was doing business in Andaman and Nicobar and like other parties had given us donations. During the operational years, they had given some donation to the party fund. We had taken the amount through cheques.”
Although Ray said he could not recollect the amount BJP had taken through cheques from the group, he said that many such companies operated in the area
and “looted” the people. “All such companies originated from Kolkata,” he said.
The Rose Valley group, with interests ranging from hospitality and real estate to film and insurance sectors, has luxury properties including hotels and resorts in the islands and it collected huge sums of money under deposit-taking schemes from the area, people familiar with the matter said. The money trail in Rose Valley scam and some other deposit-taking businesses is also leading to a senior leader of the BJP’s women’s wing in the state, said one of the persons, who did not wish to be identified.
Earlier, Union minister of state for heavy industries and public enterprises Ba-
bul Supriyo admitted having taken “professional fees” from the Rose Valley group for musical performances. The singer turned BJP politician’s name cropped up after Trinamool Congress’ arrested MP Tapas Pal claimed that the minister was “close” to the Rose Valley group chairman Gautam Kundu, who was arrested last year on charges of money laundering.
The Kolkata Police is probing the “donations” by the group to the BJP while the central agencies, the CBI and the ED have been investigating deposit-taking schemes for four years and have arrested three senior MPs of the ruling TMC along with a minister of Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet.