CBI awaits the assent of the Lok Sabha speaker to prosecute Suvendu Adhikari, 3 other MPs in the Narada case | India News
CALCUTTA: The CBI is waiting for the Lok Sabha Speakerwink to prosecute four political leaders in the Narada sting case, including BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari – who was a TMC MP when the tapes came out – said one of its top officials here Tuesday, rejecting allegations of bias leveled against the agency by various parties.
The investigating agency arrested two state ministers, Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, MLA Madan Mitra and former party leader Sovan Chatterjee on Monday in connection with their investigation into the sting operation, which allegedly captured politicians accepting bribes on camera.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had recently granted a sanction to prosecute the four leaders, after which the agency finalized its charge sheet and took steps to arrest them.
The CBI has “asked the Lok Sabha spokesman for permission to prosecute Suvendu Adhikari, Saugata Roy, Prasun Banerjee and Kakali Ghosh Dastidar,” who were all TMC MPs when the operation was allegedly carried out, the official explained.
“We have not yet received a sanction on the matter,” he said, further clarifying that another political heavyweight, Mukul Roy, who had also resigned from the TMC and joined the BJP in 2017, is not on the list.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh, after Monday’s arrest, had claimed that Adhikari and Roy were saved from the CBI as they had joined the BJP.
“It is clear that Suvendu and Mukul stayed out of this … as they now happen to be members of the BJP. However, we have faith in the judiciary and the truth will come out soon,” Ghosh had stated.
Echoing him, another TMC MLA, Tapas Roy, said that the BJP government in the Center was seeking “revenge” after losing the recently concluded assembly elections.
The editor of the Narada News portal, Mathew Samuel, who claimed to have carried out the sting operation in 2014, had also sought to know why no action was taken against Adhikari.
“I think the investigation should be fair. This is the tip of the iceberg. We have to act against corruption. We have to confront and challenge it,” Samuel said.
The president of the Left Front, Biman Bose, among others, raised similar questions.
The president of the state Congress, Adhir Chowdhury, for his part, declared that the action of the IWC at this moment, when Bengal is fighting against the increase of Covid-19, is “extremely unfortunate”.
The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI investigation into Narada’s undercover operation in March 2017.
The agency subsequently registered cases against 12 TMC leaders, including the four arrested, and an IPS officer.
One of the defendants, former Lok Sabha deputy Sultan Ahmed, died in September 2017.