The West Bengal government today said that it would set up a Rs 500 crore relief fund for the investors allegedly duped by the Saradha group and that none including Trinamool Congress MPs would be spared if found guilty.

“The government will set up a Rs 500 crore relief fund for the affected small and medium investors of Saradha Group. Their names will be recommended by the commission of inquiry which has been set up,” the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee said here.

The Chief Minister also said that none of players involved in the incident including Trinamool MPs would be spared if found guilty.

Obliquely referring to TMC MPs Kunal Ghosh who had recently resigned as the CEO of the Saradha Media Group, which had owned a TV news channel and party MP Srinjoy Bose, Editor of a Bengali daily, Banerjee said, “One journalist is being targeted ... There are so many journalists ... there is no use of identifying one channel and one newspaper”.

“If any MP of Trinamool Congress has committed an offence, the law will take its own course,” she said, accusing the CPI (M) of politicking over a people’s issue.

“How many CPI (M) MPs have stashed their money and with how much did they run their party? And, a news channel identifying others will be exposed.

“Iswar and Allah know who has kept money for how many days. The government has no data,” she said.

Banerjee said, out of Rs 500 crore, Rs 150 crore would be raised by imposing tax on tobacco products. The balance would be garnered without burdening the people, she said.

She said that the affected investors were also urged to give the details of their investments to the commission to be headed by former CJ of Allahabad High Court, Shyamal Sen.

Expressing regret over the turn of the events which unfolded since the collapse the Saradha Group, the Chief Minister urged the affected people to stay calm while the government made efforts to help them.

“Forget that it is your problem or my problem, it is the people’s problem,” she added.

(This article was published on April 24, 2013)
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