Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh, one of the two accused of blackmailing Saradha group promoter Sudipta Sen, has offered to resign if he is told to do so. He also wrote a letter (in Bengali) to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that has been displayed on the party website. Following is the English translation of the letter:
All India Trinamool Congress
I am writing to you in connection with the unique situation that has evolved out of the functioning of the Saradha Group of companies. Considering the kind of rumours and negative campaigns doing the rounds and considering that select people and quarters are muddying the waters, I want to clarify certain things.
1) I am a professional journalist and I have tried my best to work as one through out my professional life.
2) I was a salaried employee in Saradha's media department. I was not a director, share holder, partner or owner.
3) My job mainly revolved around the editorial part of the operations. I did not have responsibility to look after the finance or accounts departments, neither did I have the authority to sign cheques or to authorise payments.
4) Barring the media arm, I was in no way connected with the other businesses of the Saradha Group. I have not attended a single seminar, meeting or representative meets of any other businesses. There was no question of me giving advice or proposals to people connected with those businesses.
5) When Sudipta Sen and the Saradha Group entered the media business, I was not a part of the group and had no role in them entering this business. Later when the Saradha Group entered into an agreement with 'Sambad Pratidin' over a channel, I became a part of this conversation. Neither me nor Sambad Pratidin or Srinjoy Bose had any role in the Saradha Group entering the media business.
6) When I first came to be associated with the Saradha Group's media business, I was not a Trinamool MP. My association was strictly as a professional journalist. The Trinamool Congress was not even in power in West Bengal then.
7) I have tried my level best in improving the editorial standards of the channel and the newspapers which were part of the Saradha Group. I have failed to do so and Sudipta Sen is responsible for this. I had mentioned this in my letter of resignation which was accepted by Sen himself.
8) A few days back, on the Bengali New Year's Day, Sudipta Sen sent a letter to his employees in businesses other than media. In that, he listed just his business losses in media as reasons for undoing of the Group's other businesses. There was no mention of any irregularities in the media arm. Rather he pointed at irregularities in other businesses of his, something none of us were aware of.
9) I could have left at any time in the last three months when the media business was in acute crisis. But I did not wish to leave my colleagues in the lurch. I have tried my best to be by their side till the very end, to save the channel and the dailies. But Sen's unfortunate measures put paid to those efforts. It was then I tendered my resignation.
10) It is really unfortunate that various allegations are being levelled by different quarters in connection with this. As a Member of Parliament I have not used or abused any powers or connections. To save his own skin, Sudipta Sen is resorting to spreading malicious rumours.
11) I have been connected with the Bengali media in Kolkata for very long. I have worked in various roles and worked intensively. I have never stepped beyond the legal or working boundaries that come with the responsibilities I have handled. The business and industries' communinity of Bengal know me for long. I have always worked with honesty and integrity. Till date, there have been no other allegations against me. I have done no wrong. But right now, I am being attacked by people who are spreading rumours and false information about me.
12) I have never asked for extra money (apart from my salary) from Sudipta Sen. This is against my principles. My first contract with him came into effect on September 1, 2010. Later, on April 15, 2011, he gave me greater responsibilities under a new contract. On March 23, 2012, I let him know that it would not be possible for me to devote my entire time to my work and so my compensation should be revised downwards. Accordingly, the contract was reworked. I have paid Income Tax on every penny I have earned as salary and have tried to work better more than anything else.
But today, a strange situation has evolved. Many people are in dire straits because of Sudipta Sen who is spreading false information and promoting misunderstanding among the people. Various quarters have also joined in to fish in the troubled waters.
As I have worked in the Saradha Group's media division, I have become the main subject of the attacks. Even the party is being linked to the wrongdoings. Without even giving me a chance to explain the thing, Trinamool Congress is being attacked again and again. I am being battered by these continuous allegations. I have not been able to say it all and express my mental state in this letter.
Dear leader, I am ready to cooperate with any probe into this matter. I am even ready to be probed.
As these attacks and false accusations are continuing, I am ready to resign as a Member of Parliament whenever you ask me to. You word is my command.
The letter, originally written in Bengali, is available on the Trinamool Congress website aitmc.org