Durgapur mayor writes to DM about cheating by chit fund companies

At a time when the link between Trinamool Congress and the scam-hit Saradha Group is an open matter to everyone, the Mayor of Trinamool Congress-run Durgapur civic body today sought the district magistrate’s intervention to help prevent chit companies from cheating people of the industrial town.

mayor-durgapur-apurba-mukherjee
Durgapur Mayor Apurba Mukherjee

After the chit fund scandal of Saradha Group rocked lakhs of investors, TMC leaders including Mamata Banerjee tried to distance the party from the Group. TMC leaders denied or downplayed the party’s links with Sen and Saradha. But mounting evidence suggests that the TMC, and its ministers and leaders, had been working closely with the company even before coming to power in Kolkata. The relationship only grew deeper with time.

But the Mayor of Durgapur, in an effort to come clean has wrote to the DM complaining against 52 chit fund companies of cheating the people of the town. This is seen as a face saving measure after the names of several TMC leaders working as agents of the Saradha Group came into light.

CM Mamata Banerjee’s initial attempts to distance herself and her party from the Saradha group fiasco have come undone, as local media has matched every denial with footage of Trinamool MPs and ministers attending Saradha group functions and sharing stage with company chief Sudipta Sen. Even pictures and footages of Mamata Banerjee publicly endorsing Saradha group publications and television channels have proved beyond doubt the deep rooted links between her party and the Saradha Group.

Trinamool cannot wish to snap its links with the Saradha group. Its parliamentarians Kunal Ghosh and Srinjoy Bose have both worked at the company in the past. Its legislator and transport minister Madan Mitra had publicly appealed people to deposit their savings with the company.

In an official communiqué to the DM, Mayor Mr. Mukherjee, said: “These companies are cheating the common people of the locality. People are constantly raising objections against these chit fund companies.” The Mayor’s letter includes a list of 52 chit funds operating only in City Centre that falls under ward 22. Mr. Mukherjee incidentally is elected from this ward.

In the past two weeks two chit offices – Icore E Services Ltd and Satyaseva Reacon Ltd – in City Centre were ransacked and the latter has already downed the shutter, cheating thousands of depositors worth Rs 5 crore, said police.

The Mayor’s wrote: “These companies, as it appears, don’t have any prospect and haven’t been following the Reserve Bank of India and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority’s regulations. Many were running business without approval by the requisite authorities.”

Some NGO’s have also been operating as chit companies in Durgapur. Mr. Parimal Agasty, ward committee secretary of the Trinamool Congress, said: “How come they were allowed to run the show? We have always demanded probe against such fraud companies.”

The district administration, meanwhile, has sought a status report of chit companies operating in Durgapur from the civic body. DM Onkar S Meena said: “We would refer the matter to the respective department for proper action.”

Meanwhile, The Communist Party of India-Marxist on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the multi-crore chit fund scam in West Bengal and asked the state government to confiscate all properties of Saradha Group to pay off thousands of small investors left in the lurch.

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