Trinamool Lok Sabha MP Sultan Ahmed and his brother Iqbal, a party MLA, who had reportedly admitted to accepting money from Narada News CEO as donation, had failed to provide documentary evidences to CBI to prove their claims. According to highly placed CBI sources, Sultan had admitted to receiving Rs 7 Lakh from Narada news CEO Mathew Samuel, who had shot the sting video, for election expenses. But, he could not provide any evidence to prove his claim. Sultan was grilled for over eight hours since 11 am on Monday.
CBI officers said that Iqbal had also accepted that he received Rs 10 Lakh from Samuel, but he, too, failed to provide any documents. “Iqbal Ahmed stated during interrogation that he had received Rs 10 Lakh from Mathew Samuel. The money was deposited in the development fund of Mohammedan Sporting Club, a football club, of which his brother Sultan is the patron. Iqbal said his brother is aware of the donation. But, when we interrogated Sultan, he said he had no clue about it,” said a CBI source from Delhi.
Sultan is the third person to be interrogated by the CBI in connection with the Narada sting operation, after Iqbal and IPS officer S M H Mirza, all of whom have been named in the CBI FIR.
CBI sources said that Sultan fumbled when asked to provide evidences to prove his claims. His other statements were also full of inconsistencies and his answer to most of the questions was that he could not recollect, they said.
CBI also questioned Sultan on who introduced him to Samuel and whether he promised to introduce Samuel to other Trinamool leaders, as per sources. CBI sources said that they will summon the Trinamool MP again for further questioning.
The Narada sting video was shot by Samuel in 2014 and released just before the 2016 state Assembly elections. The video allegedly showed several Trinamool Congress MLAs and MPs accepting money in exchange for favours from Samuel, who posed as a businessman interested in making some investments in West Bengal.