Investigation by the State Police in a scam that involves thousands of crores collected from the public allegedly because of the patronage of people occupying high positions in the system will hardly carry conviction especially when even the regulators who were expected to prevent or check such a scam appear to have turned a blind eye to what was going on.....While we do not consider it necessary to go into the question whether the State Police have done all that it ought to have done, we need to point out that money trail has not yet been traced”.
— Supreme Court Of India, in Subrata Chattoraj Vs. Union Of India & Others case on May 9, 2014, while transferring the Chit Fund Cases to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
In politics, there are policies, strategies and perception management and every political leader or party uses them to ensure ‘authoritative allocation of values’ as per their own political interests. We have seen similar games being played out on the streets of Kolkata where the CBI team went in to question the Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar in the multi-crore, multi-state Saradha scam. The way Mamata Banerjee chose to target CBI, and Chandrababu Naidu becoming her important ally in this endeavour is the most interesting thing that needs further scrutiny.
Mamata Banerjee while organising the opposition rally itself had made her intent quite clear declaring that she would not allow the CBI to enter Bengal. In this particular case, she tried to block the investigation by central agencies even in the earlier stages, and the reasons are obvious. Many Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders are under the scanner, and the party itself faces allegations of receiving funds from the dubious sources. Rajeev Kumar, the IPS officer who investigated the scam as the head of SIT and who allegedly did not hand over all the relevant evidence to the CBI, can be the obvious ally in the cover-up. Naturally, Mamata did not want CBI to get into this for which she effectively staged and used the political drama. The optics that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee wanted to convey are very obvious. She wants to play the victim’s card to invoke the Bengali pride by playing Centre vs State and most importantly, to establish herself as the most formidable challenger to the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In fact, it was Chandrababu Naidu who started this cauldron when he left the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). In November 2018 itself, he decided to withdraw the general consent given to the CBI for investigation of ongoing cases in Andhra. There are at least three cases where Chandrababu Naidu or his close aides and family members will have to face the CBI investigation. In 2013, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had ordered a preliminary probe by the CBI against Chandrababu Naidu into the allegations of disproportionate assets. There is another PIL that alleges about the involvement of CM Naidu and his minister son, Nara Lokesh, in a corruption case worth Rs 21,000 crore by signing fake MoUs with the companies under the guise of investments. No wonder he was the one who started this game but could not rival the theatrics and rhetorics of Mamata Banerjee. So he co-opted to join her at every stage.
Congress is the biggest loser in this game as it cannot afford to either support or oppose Mamata. Through its confused stands, it indirectly supported Mamata, and she returned the favours by standing by Congress over Vadra’s questioning by the Enforcement Directorate in the money laundering case. Tejaswi Yadav is the next one to come out openly in her support.
It is true that the CBI without permission of the State CBI cannot take-up the investigation. In this particular case, we should not forget that it was the Supreme Court of Bharat that had intervened and handed over the case to the apex investigation agency.
All this is showing nothing but the nature of Ponzi alliances that are shaping up. The corrupt and regionalist dynasts are coming together like the perpetrators of a Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent investing scam promising high rates of return with little risk to the small investors in the eastern part of Bharat. Aren’t these political alliances actually working as the extension of Saradha and other subsidiaries who defrauded millions of gullible investors of their hard-earned life’s savings?