Trinamool Congress MLA Iqbal Ahmed on Thursday appeared before the CBI for questioning in connection with its probe into the Narada ‘sting’ wherein a number of party leaders, including MPs and ministers, were allegedly seen taking money. Ahmed, the first of the accused to be summoned by the CBI, went to the agency office at Nizam Palace in the city.
The Khanakul MLA, who is also the deputy mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, had failed to appear before the CBI on an earlier date and had sought time but was again asked to appear before the investigating officers. Narada News.com editor Mathew Samuel had claimed that it was Ahmed who had introduced him to the senior TMC leaders who he had paid money in the name of a fictituous company.
Samuel claimed that Ahmed had taken money from him for introducing him to the leaders. The sting videos, which were released by Mathew just before the 2016 Assembly elections in West Bengal, had created a political furore.
The sting operation relates to the secret filming of the TMC leaders and an IPS officer while they allegedly accepted money from the representatives of a fictitious company for extending favours to it. CBI is probing the matter on a Calcutta High Court order and has registered FIRs against 12 senior TMC leaders, including MPs and ministers and the IPS officer.
The TMC leaders against whom the CBI has registered FIR include Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Saugata Roy, Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar.
West Bengal Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari, Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee and Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee have also been named in the FIR.
Former Minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza have also been made accused in the case.