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

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Mad­hu­parna.Das@ times­group.com

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.

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