The Central Bureau of Investigation has asked Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien to come in for questioning next month in connection with the funding of the party’s mouthpiece Jago Bangla, the lawmaker said in a tweet on Friday.
“We are probing certain transactions recorded in the bank accounts of the party’s [Trinamool Congress] mouthpiece, Jago Bangla,” an unidentified official told NDTV. “That’s why Derek O’Brien has been asked to join the investigation and provide clarifications.” However, the lawmaker pointed out in his tweet that the timing of the summons coincided with the Trinamool Congress’ motion to oppose amendments to the Right to Information Act in the Parliament.
“JagoBangla is Trinamool’s official newspaper. Publisher: Derek O’Brien,” O’Brien tweeted. “Editor Subrata Bakshi was summoned by CBI a month ago to seek clarifications. Now, publisher served a notice at 2 pm July 25. Trinamool Motion in Rajya Sabha to oppose amendments to Right to Information Act started at 2 pm July 25.” The Trinamool Congress lawmaker had been summoned by the investigating agency in February, but the lawmaker had cited parliamentary obligations and asked for the questioning to be postponed.
The CBI started investigating the funding of Trinamool Congress’ mouthpiece Jago Bangla in January, according to Ei Samay. Its editor Subrata Bakshi had been summoned by the agency and documents related to funding of Jago Bangla had been submitted to the CBI at that time.
“Earlier, in February, when Parliament was in session, a notice was sent,” O’Brien said in a post. “I immediately wrote to CBI stating that since Parliament was in session, I would appear on a date after the session was concluded. However, a day before I was supposed to meet CBI, they called and informed me that I am not required to meet them.”
O’Brien said that following the latest CBI summons, he has sent them a letter saying that he would meet them after the session ends on August 7.
In January, the agency had also visited the home of Manik Majumdar, who is one of the signatories of Jago Bangla’s bank account, the Hindustan Times reported. “There are reasons to suspect that the proceeds from the sales of Mamata Banerjee’s paintings went to Jago Bangla’s fund,” an unidentified CBI official, who is aware of the proceedings in the Rose Valley case, was quoted as saying.
It is unclear whether the summons are related to the Rs 10,000-crore Saradha chit fund case or the Rose Valley case. The latter is another ponzi scam in West Bengal, estimated at Rs 17,000 crore.