Tripura Assembly witnessed an uproarious scene on Wednesday over allegations of financial scam levelled against the government by the opposition.
The Opposition parties alleged that the Chief Minister and his cabinet colleagues were involved with Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC), besides getting monetary benefit from them. However, the government refuted the allegations levelled by the opposition.
On the last day of the Assembly Session of the present government new facts regarding money cheated by the NBFC from state was informed to the House by the Finance Minister leading to cacophony of opposition allegations against the ruling Left Front and bitter acrimony.
This is one of the biggest financial scam has been levelled against the Tripura government led by Manik Sarkar and the amount is nothing less than Rs 35,000 crores, almost double the state’s budget.
Two former Opposition leaders – Ratan Lal Nath and Sudip Roy Barman have been regularly raising this issue in the Assembly and targeting Sarkar for attending a park inauguration programme of Rose Valley, a chit fund company in 2008.
Despite a rule framed in the year 2000 against mushrooming of NBFC in Tripura, Rose Valley had been operating in the state till 2013 before it was banned.
Sudip Roy Barman alleged, “All Minister and ruling party leaders were directly involved with the NBFC including Rose Valley that duped thousands of crores of money of the poor investors of the state.”
“CBI, on the same ground and for which had arrested West Bengal former Minister Madan Mitra was arrest and interrogate, should be arrested and interrogated Tripura CM and his cabinet colleagues who acted as brand ambassadors of the chit fund companies especially the Rose Valley.”
Accepting that he had gone to the inauguration programme of Rose Valley Park Chief Minister Manik Sarkar was of the view that he or his government at that time was not at all aware of it being a chit fund as there has been no report of any allegation against it.
Refuting allegations over Tripura’s Left Front government’s involvement in chit fund scam, the Chief Minister said that it was his government that first demanded a CBI probe into the scam but most of the cases were refused as the money involved was very less.
Realizing that during the coming assembly election scheduled early next year the Rose Valley scam will be one the main issues against Sarkar’s government, only a week back the state government in its website had published a document saying, “Chief Minister of Tripura requested the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India for investigation of the remaining 32 cases by CBI vide letter dated 03-01-2014. In response, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office, Govt. of India vide letter dated 10-05-2014 informed that the quantum of money involved in these 32 cases was small and therefore, the cases were not feasible such investigation”
But Manik Sarkar, who is considered one of the cleanest Chief Ministers of the country, had to face humiliation on the last day of the 9th assembly when his Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha accepted in the House that instead of Rs 35 crores as shown to the CBI the Rose Valley case the actual money involved is Rs 35,000 crore.
Meantime, one Tripura Minister Bijita Nath in related the to Rose Valley was grilled by the CBI and the state government has formed a SIT to investigate in the chit fund issue.