Sting shows Mamata Banerjee’s top leaders ‘taking cash to help fictitious firm’

But TMC accused the opposition parties of hatching a "political conspiracy" ahead of the assembly election dubbing the sting operation by a news portal as "manufactured".

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: March 25, 2016 4:55 pm
tmc, sting operation, mamata banerjee TMC leader Mukul Roy caught accepting bribes in the sting operation.

A PURPORTED STING operation aired on Monday, less than a month ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal, shows 11 leaders of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) — including state ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Farhad Hakim — being allegedly bribed to help a fictitious Chennai-based company get business in the state.

Journalists Mathew Samuel and Angel Abraham of Narada News, a news website, set up a fictitious company called Impex Consultancy in 2014 and approached several leaders of the party “seeking favours” for this entity. The website claimed to have incurred expenses of up to Rs 1 crore to bribe politicians and middlemen. Most of the purported conversations happened over two years between January 2014 and January 2016.

TMC Bribery Sting: CPI-M Questions Mamata’s Silence, Ruckus In Parliament

TMC MP Derek O’Brien described the purported sting operation as a “smear campaign” and indicated that his party would file a defamation case against the website for putting out “doctored videos”.

“We are completely transparent. (Chief Minister) Mamatadi’s credentials are impeccable. The people of Bengal know. We are busy with elections now. So whoever has concocted this smear campaign, please go ahead and concoct your smear campaign or your doctored video,” said O’Brien in a statement.

Watch the Sting Operation

“Where these videos came from, who doctored these videos will now be put to (test) in a defamation case. We are not bothered. This is a smear campaign. Our political opponents know they cannot defeat us politically so they create a cheap tricks department, a dirty tricks department,” he added.

Former union railway minister Mukul Roy is the most prominent TMC leader shown in the purported sting. Roy, as seen in the half-an-hour video footage shown at the press conference on Monday, does not accept Rs 20 lakh but asks Samuel, who is posing as a representative of Impex Solutions, to hand it over to Syed M H Mirza, a police officer in Burdwan. Mirza was among the officers whose transfer by the Election Commission ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was opposed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

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“Give it to my office, I am not taking it straight away. I will tell my men, so you give it to them,” Roy is heard saying. The footage also shows Mirza flaunting his proximity to Roy.

Former Union Minister of State for Tourism in the UPA government and party leader Sultan Ahmed is seen accepting Rs 5 lakh. He then purportedly asks for more. He also promises “assistance” to Samuel for “whatever” his company needs.

Mayor of Kolkata Sovan Chatterjee, in response to the journalists request to introduce him to important people in the government, is heard saying,”after the elections, I can introduce.” Narada News alleged that Chatterjee was given Rs 5 lakh as bribe.

While, apparently, negotiating the bribe amount, Hakim, West Bengal’s urban development minister, is heard saying, “We don’t deal with peanuts. What would be left for kids if we deal with small stuff? Don’t even touch that.”

Although a majority of the 11 TMC members are clearly seen accepting money in the edited footage shown during the press conference, in many parts the motive behind the payment is unclear. For instance, Mukherjee, who is thestate’s minister for panchayat and rural development, just says “okay”,when Samuel puts Rs four lakh on his table.

Similarly, the sting on TMC leader Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar shows the journalists offering Rs 4 lakh following which he asks, “anything more?” To this, Dastidar replies, “nothing at the moment”.

Madan Mitra, former state minister who stands accused in the Sharada Chit Fund Scam, on receiving the money directs his aide to keep it away. The motive of the payment here again is unclear.

On being questioned about these ambiguities, Samuel told reporters, “We have 52 hours of footage which has been uploaded online. What we have shown you is the edited version. The motive behind each of the payments is evident if you go through the raw footage. We told them that we were a Chennai-based company and that we want projects in the state. We asked them to lobby for us.”

On why the purported sting operation, which was conducted over two years, was being released so close to assembly elections in the state, Samuel said it was a “coincidence”. “We started this two months before the Lok Sabha elections after news of the Sharada Chit Fund scam surfaced… we set up Narada News in January this year and decided to air the sting.”

Samuel explained that the money offered as bribe was taken from the funds he sourced from NRI friends and supporters. He added that he was open to any inquiry into the funding of his news platform.

Samuel was part of the Tehelka team that conducted the sting operation titled ‘Operation West End’ in 2001 and released purported footage of government officials and politicians, including then BJP president Bangaru Laxman, allegedly accepting money tied to a fake arms deal.

Reacting to the video, the BJP demanded the resignation of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the CPI(M) sought President’s rule in the state.

Addressing a press conference, BJP national Secretary Siddharth Nath Singh the demanded immediate resignation of Banerjee.

“She should not stay as a chief minister even for the few remaining days before election. Her party leaders were involved in corruption and she has given leadership”, he alleged.

TOP LEADERS

Those who feature in the purported sting operation and how much were they allegedly paid:

M H Ahmed Mirza (senior police officer): Rs 50 lakh
Mukul Roy (former union and railway minister): Rs 20 Lakh
Subrata Mukherjee (WB minister for panchayat and rural dev): Rs 5 lakh
Sultan Ahmed (former union minister and MP): Rs 5 lakh
Sugata Roy (former union minister): Rs 5 lakh
Suvendhu Adhikari (TMC youth wing president): Rs 5 lakh
Kakoli Ghosh Dastikar (TMC leader): Rs 4 lakh
Prasoon Banerjee (MP): Rs 4 lakh
Suvon Chatterjee (Mayor of Kolkata): Rs 5 lakh
Madan Mitra (former minister of transport): Rs 5 lakh
Iqbal Ahmed (MLA): Rs 5 lakh
Farhad Hakim (Minister of Urban Development): Rs 5 lakh.

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  1. S
    Sat.aire
    Mar 15, 2016 at 12:47 am
    I congratulate BJP in bringing this video out at the most appropriate time. Kudos BJP.
    Reply
    1. D
      Dinesh
      Mar 14, 2016 at 8:43 pm
      Mamata you ugly cow how much did you get cut you stupid cow I think you should hang yourself.
      Reply
      1. D
        Dokla
        Mar 15, 2016 at 12:48 am
        Reminds me of Bangaru Laxman sting. How lively it was.
        Reply
        1. H
          Haradhan Mandal
          Mar 14, 2016 at 5:06 pm
          Both the country and its political cl has become inured of its (corruption, sting operation) any stigma , shame or scandal VALUE - forget The SHOCK value . Nothing can put them (political cl) to shame and country is shameless to vote for them again and again. Our CBI (depending on who is the master) will go thur its motions or half-motion till all political milk or juice is extracted - but no conviction. Or even If there is conviction in trial/lower court - there will still be all the legal 'avenues' up to the Supreme Court and its Review Peions.
          Reply
          1. M
            MyTake
            Mar 14, 2016 at 9:14 pm
            Amar Sonar Bagla Ami Tomay Bhalobashi!
            Reply
            1. M
              MyTake
              Mar 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm
              Cow is more useful including its s h i t. Don't insult the cow!
              Reply
              1. M
                MyTake
                Mar 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm
                Three cheers "M a" "M a t i" di on behalf of the "M a n u s h"!
                Reply
                1. M
                  MyTake
                  Mar 14, 2016 at 7:13 pm
                  Very well indigenised culture in Tagore's Bengal! No wonder why Mamata wants Muslims and musclemen of Bengal on her side!
                  Reply
                  1. M
                    MyTake
                    Mar 15, 2016 at 2:56 am
                    So there is a bank record for this amount with date and day stamp on it! The bank must have lunge room chair tables sitting arrangements for TMC customers only! Very good argument brother!
                    Reply
                    1. S
                      shakeel
                      Mar 14, 2016 at 6:25 pm
                      If this is correct they should kicked out as claimed by opposition but before who gave a safety page to vijay miliya who default 9000 crs There is a saying in English i"if you are in deep s@@t always keep your mouth shut "
                      Reply
                      1. R
                        Rajatogi
                        Mar 15, 2016 at 12:45 am
                        WHERE THER IS A BRAHMIN, THERE IS A CRIMINAL.
                        Reply
                        1. V
                          Vns
                          Mar 15, 2016 at 12:48 am
                          Derek O'brien a corrupt dishonest and sycophant person who accused BJP and now he is defending his party when caught red handed, can anyone believe the party?
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            ak dev
                            Mar 14, 2016 at 8:28 pm
                            Qualifying Congress doesn't change its prime character of corruption and loot.
                            Reply
                            1. A
                              Anirban Ghosh
                              Mar 16, 2016 at 7:33 pm
                              Must be BJP-RSS conspiracy.
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Saikat
                                Mar 14, 2016 at 11:12 pm
                                I have a doubt on NANANDA news agency.....If its a indian news agency, why its being registered in DUBAI? He claims his news agency is ready for any scrutiny on this sting operation. But as far a i know Dubai has no legal or extradition ties with india....Therefore any kind of inquiry on how the money came and authenticity of this operation could not be verified by any indian investigating agency.....Now in the video its not clear for what purpose its being given to the politicians.....Now as for the timing, is is a propaa tool for the CPM and congress????Well such swift inquiry is not possible....but it sure can influence voters......Also Mr. Samuels comment that its just a coincidence that tis video surfaced just one month before the bengal election seems to be a hilarious lie....e on Mr Samuel you are too smart for just a coincidence to happen before the election.... ..So is it that the CPM and congress parties pa for this edited video for propaa and shoo voters?It could be.......As for the fun facts(We all know Dubai as a SAFE HEAVEN for Fraudstars and Criminals So can we rely on a news channel report who operates from Dubai?)
                                Reply
                                1. S
                                  Saikat
                                  Mar 15, 2016 at 5:05 am
                                  Bhai.......Please read carefully what i have written......I said if someone is shot taking money from bank without a visual proof of where it has happened....I mean the visual proof which can confirm it has been shot in a bank is not present in the video, neither any kind of conversation in the background specifying it to be shot inside a bank, can it be proven that he is taking a bribe from someone? The answer is no.....Similarly if a video somehow surfaces that a guy is giving me a bundle of cash somewhere without the proper ideny of who he was, what was he doing with me, why he was giving me cash, can i be suddenly framed to taking bribe from someone???????without proper investigation its not possible to say......Now i have some questions for you which i want you to have a thought.. 1gt; WHO AND WHY 1 CRORE WAS GIVEN TO SAMUEL TWO YEARS BEFORE IN THE YEAR 2014?Money doesnt grow on the trees.Who ever has given him must have some investment motive in his mind.Its not charity after all....Nothing in this world comes for free.More over 1 crore plus two years of interest around 18 lacs has been lost by this INVESTOR who gave money to Samuel to do such a sting operation.How is the investor going to recover his/her loss? 2gt; Samuel said in an interview that he was moved by the SARADA CHIT FUND SCAM in west bengal and he got to work in it.At the same period 2g scam occured whose value was above 1.76 trillion dollars and the coal gate scam whose value was 1.86 lakhs crores..... front of these two scams SARADA chit fun scam was only 7000 crores approx......How come Mr Samuel was not moved by COAL GATE 2 G SCAM which out weight by miles the SARADA CHIT FUND SCAM?Why he did not try to bring these two scams out if he was so worried about our country? 3gt;The money given by Mr Samuel will be un traceable after these many years so it will be impossible to prove anything in court...... So what is his intention now???(VOTE BANK POLITICS ) 4gt;Why has Mr. Samuels or his company till now filed a complaint against this bribery?Until and unless the victimised party(in this case mr samuel) doesnt file a complain to the CBI , Income tax dept and the Anti corruption dept, No action can be taken. 5gt;Narada news agency doesnt have any print media nor Television media.So from where does he get the money to run his company?Am sure to run such a organisation it needs lots of staffs and employees? 6gt;Why a news agency which does reporting on indian political situations doesnt have any office in india?How does his company staff operate without a office? 7gt;Is Narada news a front for Fake sensational news whose sole purpose to blackmail and create temporary vote bank politics? 8gt;Why NARADA NEWS operate from DUBAI which has no Legal as well as extradition ties with India?
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                                  1. A
                                    Alo
                                    Mar 15, 2016 at 7:33 am
                                    Although mamata banerjee have not been able to flourish satisfaction compared to past left-wings tenure, in terms of economic, political, employment, social peace, industrialization, and so on, among the m peoples of all segments of WB, but 'left and congress alliance' is still not strong enough to make a reasonable impression on casting votes in their favour in the forthcoming elections to make a bit of challenge for TMC to go forward for next term, taking into consideration the prevailing political chaos and intolerance, more of less all over WB, specially influenced by TMC student fronts and panchayet wings against their counterparts as well as led by the short-sighted ill-minded calf leadership in the mid- and lower-levels of the party in power.
                                    Reply
                                    1. A
                                      ASHOK KUMAR
                                      Mar 14, 2016 at 2:58 pm
                                      Mohan Bhagawat says always chant BHARAT MAATA KI JAI. Modi is issuing ordinance to appoint Lokpal within 15 days and giving full autonomy and consutional status to CBI.
                                      Reply
                                      1. P
                                        Praveen Chopra
                                        Mar 14, 2016 at 4:17 pm
                                        What a shame. Unfortunately all political parties play the dirty game. Political parties must come under UTI. Election Commission seems a defanged tiger. Let it roar again.
                                        Reply
                                        1. A
                                          aam
                                          Mar 16, 2016 at 5:26 am
                                          Whether Doctored or real files, east or west, north or south, elected ministers or appointed babus, the inner urge seeking the pleasure of acquisition of power or pleasure is motivated by inner misery, which has been retained due to an error in raising children. All misdeeds are motivated by the damage to Consciousness only leading to perception of misery. When Consciousness is damaged it results not only in lack of integrity but also in lack of rationality. What the present moral education and the criminal justice system has not been able to achieve can be easily achieved inexpensively by merely raising children without damaging the Consciousness. Moral education and criminal justice system are also failing because people who are managing are also working with disturbed consciousness. Protecting and returning to the unfragmented consciousness ends all problems of mankind.
                                          Reply
                                          1. G
                                            gopal
                                            Mar 15, 2016 at 2:53 am
                                            TMC always plays with fire..now they are playing with money also...hehehe
                                            Reply
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