DAYS AFTER Trinamool Congress leaders were allegedly caught on camera accepting bribes to aid a fictituous company, another sting operation — conducted by Times Now — has come to light, where Bidhannagar Mayor Sabyasachi Dutta is seen saying it takes nearly Rs 50 lakh to Rs 60 lakh to fight Assembly polls and most of the money for this is paid by syndicates.
This comes on the heels of Narada News portal releasing videos of its sting operation, where top Trinamool leaders were allegedly seen accepting bribes from journalists posing as businessmen.
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On Tuesday, senior BJP leader Jayprakash Majumder played the syndicate “sting” video before mediapersons. The Indian Express cannot vouch for the authenticity of the video.
In the purported video, Dutta — Trinamool’s candidate from Rajarhat New Town constituency — is seen admiting that a ‘syndicate raj’ was flourishing in the New Town area. Dutta allegedly said he was with those running such syndicates — politician-construction mafia nexus — in New Town because they provide the maximum fund required to contest elections.
“About Rs 50 lakh to Rs 60 lakh are required to contest an election. The party gives Rs 5 lakh and I put in Rs 5 lakh. The rest comes from these people,” he added. When asked why he is given such kind of money, Dutta said: “They know they would pay one day and do business peacefully for four years and 364 days… They know I will look after them…”
When asked, Dutta did not deny the authenticity of the video. “I am not saying this is a doctored or false video. It is genuine and I had said what I had to… I had not encouraged any syndicate but patronised youths who earn their livelihood by dealing in building materials…,” he claimed.
Following the press conference, a three-member team led by Majumder visited the Chief Electoral Officer. Demanding that Dutta’s candidature be cancelled, Majumder said: “He has admitted that on the day when he went to submit his nomination, his supporters arrived in around 200 buses. The EC should take note…”
“On July 21, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee — during martyrs’ rally — had said she would not allow any syndicate business in her party. Now comes this… So was the CM’s warning to party workers to refrain from syndicates only drama?” he asked.