NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday filed a case against 12 senior leaders of Trinamool Congress including Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, former minister Madan Mitra, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar apart from West Bengal state ministers and MLAs for alleged criminal conspiracy and corruption on the basis of Narada sting operation, where they were purportedly shown taking money.
CBI says its preliminary enquiry into the matter revealed that the 12 MPs/ministers and MLAs of West Bengal - "were shown to have either accepted money in cash given by the representative of a Chennai based company (sting operator Mathew Samuel, who introduced himself as representative of M/s Impex Consultancy) or asked him to handover the money to someone else on their behalf". "They were also shown to have asked for money for themselves and others," the agency said.
"The enquiry revealed that the accused persons either accepted illegal gratification or had agreed to accept illegal gratification from Mathew Samuel during April-May 2014 and their video images have been identified," it said.
The probe has revealed that most of the TMC leaders shown in sting operation demanded money, few weeks before the 2014 general elections, which the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi won by huge margin.
Most of the TMC leaders are seen either taking money or asking Samuel to hand over to their staff on their behalf. In fact, Aparupa Poddar of TMC was shown accepting Rs 3 lakh from Samuels on April 26, 2014 for showing (promising) favour to him, after coming to power, said CBI sources.
West Bengal CM reacted to the CBI FIR saying that it was a "political game", which the party will "fight out politically". "Just because they (CBI) have filed the FIR, does it mean their guilt is proved? Let them (the CBI) first prove the guilt. There is no cause of worry," she told reporters at the state secretariat.
The tapes of TMC leaders seeking money for favouring a fictitious company were broadcast on a portal Naradanews.com just before the assembly elections last year, following which the BJP launched a scathing attack on the Mamata Banerjee government in the state.