Kolkata, June 21 (IANS) Amid loud protests by CPI-M supporters, former West Bengal housing minister Gautam Deb Friday appeared before police for questioning in connection with alleged irregularities during his ministerial tenure.
The state police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) office was cordoned off since morning to keep at bay hundreds of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporters who had assembled to protest the summoning of Deb.
The minister in the erstwhile Left Front regime was summoned by the CID June 7 after a first information report was lodged alleging that a housing project during his tenure caused Rs.20 crore loss to the state exchequer.
The FIR was lodged April 2 by West Bengal Housing Board secretary Ajay Dutta, implicating several people of irregularities concerning a project by the Bengal Greenfield Housing Development Corporation Ltd., a joint venture with the state.
"The chief minister (Mamata Banerjee) wanted to make me sit here (CID headquarters) for two hours. I came and had tea," Deb told journalists after his quizzing.
"It is not my responsibility to satisfy them," he replied to queries whether he could satisfy the CID.
Deb was accompanied by senior party leaders Mohammad Salim and Sujan Chakraborty.
Salim accused the Banerjee regime of using the state machinery to stifle the opposition and make political gains.
"She is trying to demonise everyone for her political interest," said Salim.