CBI arrests TMC’s 2 ministers & one MLA in Narada bribery case
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested 3 TMC ministers and a former mayor in the Narada bribery case. All the accused were picked from their residences on Monday by CBI. Trinamool Congress ministers Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee along with MLA Madan Mitra and former Mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chattopadhyay were arrested by CBI post consent from Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar. Governor Dhankhar gave consent to file a chargesheet and sanctioned prosecution for them as well.
The Narada Sting Operation had exposed all the accused, who were then ministers, taking money. The videos of the same were released before the 2016 Assembly election. CBI probe was ordered by Calcutta High Court in March 2017.
Sources at TMC have reported that the four are being detained at CBI office at Nizam Palace in Kolkata after making them sign arrest memos. As soon as the ministers were arrested and taken to CBI office, TMC party workers were seen protesting outside the premises. In no time West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also rushed to CBI office along with other TMC leaders.
“As a lawyer, I can say that this is illegal. One needs to take consent from the Speaker of the state Assembly before arresting an MLA. The CBI only has consent from the Governor,” said Biman Bandopadhyay, lawyer and Speaker of the West Bengal Legislative Assembly. TMC Lok Sabha MP Sougata Roy said, “This is politically motivated. The party which lost the polls is now using the CBI to arrest MLAs and ministers.”
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh asked, “Why was an FIR not lodged against Mukul Roy who is now the national vice-president of the BJP? Roy had taken money from former IPS officer Mirza. Also, why has Suvendu Adhikari, who is now the leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, not been arrested? He was also seen taking money in the tapes.” He added, “That’s because they have joined the BJP and got protection. This is nothing but a revenge tactic by the BJP as they lost the Assembly polls.”
The Narada Sting Operation was conducted by Mathew Samuel of Narada News portal. The operation’s tapes that were released exposed many TMC MLA’s, MPs and Ministers allegedly accepting money from representatives of a fictional firm in exchange of favors and promises.