Did the West Bengal government issue an order on March 14, 2012 to its state run libraries to subscribe to newspapers run by the Saradha group? The Central Bureau of Investigation which is probing the case had indicated that there was an attempt made by Sudipta Sen to portray Mamata Banerjee as the prime ministerial candidate and this was one of the reasons he was investing heavily in media companies.
An officer with the Central Bureau of Investigation informed OneIndia that it had come to light that there was an order which had directed several state libraries to stop subscribing to several mainstream newspapers and replace them with regional papers most of which were either run or funded by the Saradha group.
Saradha sponsored media
Although it is the discretion of the state government to decide on which newspapers libraries shall subscribe to, it is still important to the Saradha probe, the CBI official said.
We have aware that Sen was picking up and investing in media houses for a reason.
There is nothing to indicate that he was making a profit out of his media firms, but there is enough indication that he was trying to cozy up to the TMC leaders by promising that he would portray Mamata as the PM candidate by promoting her in the media houses that he had either purchased/promoted or funded.
Sen was in fact advised that he should take this route as this would make the CM happy.
The meeting that was held at Deolo between Mamata and Sen is under the scanner and now with Mukul Roy confirming the same the angle gets more credence.
During that meeting it is alleged that Sen had informed Mamata that he would promote her as the CM candidate.
This was a ploy on part of Sen who was advised to do the same by some TMC leaders who told him that keeping the CM happy would help him in the long run.
The newspapers in question
An order was issued to nearly 2400 state run libraries to subscribe to 13 newspapers. Prominent among the newspapers were Kalam and Sakalbela.
Kalam was edited by Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Hassam Imran.
He had been questioned by the CBI after it was found that he had sold it to the Saradha group.
The CBI had also questioned Asif Khan who was arrested in a cheating case. Khan once associated with the TMC was also part of the same newspaper.
Sakalbela and Sangbad Pratidin were also part of this list.
Sangbad Pratidin was run by Srinjoy Bose a Rajya Sabha MP and its associate editor was Kunal Ghosh who is currently under arrest for his role in the scam.
Where is the order?
The CBI is aware that there was an official order that had been issued to all the libraries to subscribe to these newspapers.
The CBI says it is very crucial to the probe as it would want to find out the trail leading up to such an order. A request was made in the month of February to the West Bengal government to furnish the order.
However, the reply that the CBI has got now is that the file is missing and they are unable to trace it.
We will probe further into this and will the government more time to furnish us with details.
The CBI says that if the government is unable to trace this order they would rely on the libraries which have been given this order.