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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 17 December: ARRESTED in the Saradha Scam for over a year now, former Trinamool Congress minister Madan Mitra today said that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee could only answer if she can be on any help in the CBI probe into the multi-crore scam.

Mitra, who was produced at the Alipore court this afternoon, said this in response to a query by the journalists. Below is the sequence of questions asked by journalists and the replies of Mitra.

Reporter: “Madan-da, does the Chief Minister know about Saradha (Scam)?”

Mitra: “Everyone knows. Whatever is appearing in newspapers, everyone knows that. You people (reporters) should continue writing; write more in detail (about the Saradha Scam.”

Reporter: “Madan-da, can the Chief Minister be of help in the CBI probe (into Saradha Scam)?”

Mitra: “This the Chief Minister can answer. How can I speak for the Chief Minister? You people should continue to write, write more in detail.”

This reply from Mitra is a clear departure from his previous stand all through the past over one year of his arrest when he always defended Mamata Banerjee during interactions to media persons.

In fact, on 03 December, when journalists had sought his reaction to the Banerjee’s remarks that Trinamool would not take responsibility of the misdeed of individual party members, Mitra had said: “She is very right in saying so.”

Mitra today also passed a terse remark when journalists asked whether he has been made a scapegoat in the Saradha Scam as Mukul Roy is back to the Trinamool fold. “Do you think, I am a goat (implying stupid)?” Mitra said while entering the Alipore court for the hearing.

On his way out after being remanded to 14 days jail custody by the court, Mitra however made an amends to his previous comment. “As regards reinstating Mukul and Seiuli (Haldia MLA) in the party, Mamata Banerjee has taken the right decision. Whatever she does, she does for the benefit of all,” he said while being taken to the Alipore jail.