State minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) secretary general Partha Chatterjee and TMC MP Subrata Bakshi are among several senior party leaders who have told Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that BJP leader Mukul Roy — who was the then general secretary of the ruling party when the Saradha chit fund scam broke out in 2013 — used to manage the party funds and transactions, said sources.
Sources in the CBI said the probe into the sale of Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee’s paintings and Saradha scam had overlapping zones since some of the owners of the deposit mobilising company had allegedly bought the paintings during exhibitions organised by the party mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’ in 2010 and 2011.
The CBI then started a probe into Saradha boss Sudipta Sen’s alleged buying of Chief Minister’s Banerjee’s paintings for hefty sums.
Chatterjee reportedly told the CBI during questioning recently that Roy used to handle the funds and knew everything about the transactions.
Denying the charges, Roy said he left ‘Jago Bangla’ in 2005. “The Trinamool Congress is conspiring to frame me.”
According to sources, several key Trinamool leaders claimed about Roy’s role in handling the finance of the party, including donations and sale proceeds from exhibitions.
The last to do so was State Education Minister Chatterjee whose deposition came just after TMC MP Bakshi.
Chatterjee also mentioned two former TMC Rajya Sabha MPs who were involved with ‘Jago Bangla’ then.
Though Chatterjee declined to comment on the issue, party sources said that the education minister had stated to the agency that he was neither the editor of Jago Bangla nor organisational head of the party in 2013. So, he doesn’t have knowledge of party funding and transactions then, sources said, he told the CBI.
Roy has also been summoned by the CBI on several occasions in the past.