The Centre has reportedly offered Kunal Ghosh, a former Rajya Sabha MP who was granted bail on Friday in the Saradha chit scam case, membership of the Telephone Advisory Committee for the Calcutta district. In a letter, purportedly issued by Telecom Department Director Sangeeta Chugh on December 10, 2016 Ghosh has been asked to confirm his acceptance of the post, India Today reported.
As a member of the committee, Ghosh will act as an “interface” between consumers and BSNL/MTNL. The membership tenure will last till November next year. There are also chances that Ghosh may become the chairman of the committee if no other MP is on the panel, reported The Telegraph.
However, a telecom official said the offer was “a routine measure available to all MPs”. Ghosh also said there is nothing political about the offer. “I have been one of the soldiers of [the] Trinamool [Congress] during the party’s worst times and have been paying my membership fees all along. I don’t see any political overtone in this. I will talk to my lawyers and then send a reply to the ministry,” he told The Telegraph.
Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party has been reeling after two party legislators – Sudip Banopadhyay and Tapas Pal – were arrested in connection with the Rose Valley scam. TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay was arrested on January 3. TMC leader Chandrima Bhattacharya filed a First Information Report, alleging that the CBI did not have any evidence to execute the arrest. Earlier on December 30 last year, a CBI court had sentenced the TMC’s Tapas Pal to 14 days in judicial custody.
Banerjee had alleged that the Central Bureau of Investigation’s arrest of the two TMC members was a response to her party’s criticism of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah. “The Centre cannot tolerate any opposition. We are speaking out against Narendra Modi and Amit Shah, which is why the CBI is attacking us now,” she had said.
On Friday, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court had confirmed Ghosh’s bail after his name was not mentioned in the latest chargesheet. The court imposed a number of conditions on Ghosh while confirming his bail. He has been asked to submit his passport to the Central Bureau of Investigation and appear before the agency every week. He is also not allowed to travel outside the jurisdiction of the Narkeldanga police station, where his home is located. Besides, Ghosh may turn approver in the case, reported The Indian Express.
Thousands of crores of investor money was lost after the chit fund scheme collapsed in 2013. Such schemes give returns to old investors from investments made by new investors rather than from profits.