Mukul meets Mamata Banerjee amid speculation of distance between the two

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Kolkata, Feb 2:  Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy, who was questioned last week by the CBI in connection with Saradha chit fund scam, on Monday met party supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here amid reports of differences between the two.

The meeting, which lasted over half an hour, took place at the new state secretariat 'Nabanna' in Howrah amid speculation in a section of media that Roy was distancing himself from Mamata.

Mukul Roy meets Mamata Banerjee

"I had a discussion with her on upcoming vote," Roy told PTI when asked if he discussed with her the petitions filed by West Bengal government and the Trinamool Congress regarding the ongoing CBI probe into the scam.

Crucial by-elections are scheduled to be held on February 13 to Bongaon Lok Sabha constituency and Krishnaganj Assembly constituency in West Bengal. Roy said he would be leaving for Delhi today.

West Bengal government and ruling party Trinamool Congress on January 19 had moved the apex court seeking a court- monitored CBI probe into the multi-crore rupees Saradha scam, alleging that the agency was acting as an "instrument" of the Centre and targeting the TMC leaders. The Supreme Court on January 27 deferred hearing on the petitions.

The matter was listed before a Bench, headed by Justice T S Thakur, but could not be taken up for hearing as the judges were involved in a meeting. Roy yesterday described himself as "part and parcel" of TMC and added that he would participate in the party's campaign for the forthcoming by-elections in the state.

"I have no problem with my organisation, I am very much part and parcel of Trinamool Congress. I am the founder general secretary. You have raised a question on that issue," a visibly annoyed Roy had told reporters yesterday when asked whether there was a rift between him and the party leadership.

Roy was quizzed by the CBI last Friday in connection with the Saradha scam. Next day he attended a TMC core committee meeting, which was chaired by Banerjee on Saturday at her Kalighat residence.

Roy, a Rajya Sabha Member, was questioned by the CBI for nearly five hours over the scam on January 30. He gave an assurance that he would cooperate with the probe agency, saying "I want the actual truth to come out."

His comment was seen in the political circles here as defying the official party line, which maintained that the BJP had been using the CBI to finish off Trinamool Congress politically.


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