Government Contradicts Amit Shah, Mamata Banerjee's Party Says 'Vindicated'

BJP chief Amit Shah addressing a rally in Kolkata

New Delhi: Three days after Amit Shah, the president of the BJP, alleged in Bengal that funds involved in the Saradha scam were used for terror, the government appears to have contradicted him and given the Trinamool Congress of Mamata Banerjee something to crow over.

In a written reply in Parliament today, Jitender Singh, the Minister of State with the PM's Office, said there is no evidence that Saradha money was used in the terror network exposed by the October 2 Burdwan blast.

"The investigation has so far not revealed any transaction where money was routed to Bangladesh to fund terrorist activities," Dr Singh said in a reply in the Lok Sabha to BJP MPs Hari Manjhi and Pralhad Joshi.

To a question on whether the government had sought details of the probe into the Saradha Chit Fund Scam after reports indicated that a part of the money was routed to Bangladesh to fund terror, the minister's reply was, "No."

The minister's response gave a new twist to the daily sparring between the BJP and the Trinamool, which has demanded Mr Shah's apology.

"Amit Shah Should apologise for making wild allegations. He should at least admit that there was not an iota of truth in his statement," said Trinamool MP Sudip Bandopadhyay.

But as Mamata's party claimed vindication, the minister insisted that there was "no clean chit."

On Sunday, Amit Shah had said at a rally in Kolkata, "Saradha Chit Fund money was used in the Burdwan blast. The NIA is not being allowed to probe the blast properly. Hurdles are being created. It is being done in order to save TMC leaders who are involved in the blast."

Mr Shah had accused Mamata Banerjee, the Bengal Chief Minister, of stalling the investigation by the National Investigation Agency into blast in Burdwan that exposed a terror network with links to Bangladesh.

Three Trinamool Congress leaders, including two MPs, have been jailed for their alleged links with the Saradha Group that operated a Ponzi scheme offering huge returns of 40 per cent and more until it collapsed last year, leaving lakhs of small investors bankrupt in West Bengal and Odisha.

One of them, Kunal Ghosh, has alleged the role of Mamata Banerjee in the scam.
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