Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday called "frivolous and baseless" the charge made against him by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that there was "evidence" of his involvement in the multi-crore Saradha chit fund scam. Banerjee's allegation on Sunday triggered a war of words in Assam with the Congress raising the issue on Monday in the Assembly, demanding a statement from the government about Banerjee's allegation.
The Congress in Assam said the Central Bureau of Investigation probing the Saradha scam in Assam had stopped the probe after Sarma, then in Congress, joined the BJP in 2015. The opposition party said the CBI had questioned Sarma and even raided his house in Guwahati, but the investigation stopped after he joined the BJP in 2015 with the saffron party coming to power in the state the following year.
Claiming to have enough evidence about the involvement of Sarma, Banerjee dared Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah to arrest the the Assam Minister. "The frivolous & baseless campaign by @MamataOfficial Didi against me is very painful. I am not fortunate enough like your Police Commissioner. I've joined the investigations and offered my full cooperation as a witness. And all this happened much much before I joined @BJP4India," tweeted Sarma on Tuesday.
"People of Assam already know who is involved and who is not. However, if someone wants to make their TRP high by doing politics with my name or if someone wants to keep their shop open by showing my name, why should I mind?" Sarma told newsmen outside the Assembly on Tuesday.
(With inputs from agencies.)