After a series of summons, state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari on Monday appeared before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the probe into the Narada sting operation case. Adhikari had reached the ED office at CGO complex in Salt Lake at around 8.30 am and left the place at 12.45 pm. ED sources said Adhikari did not deny accepting money from Narada News CEO Mathew Samuel, but he told investigating officials that he is not aware of the amount. Though the minister responded to all the questions, he is likely to be called again as there were some discrepancies in his answers, they said. During questioning, Adhikari also mentioned few names who had accepted the money on his behalf, sources said.
Though he could not say the exact amount he had taken, Adhikari claimed that it was lesser that what he has been accused of taking, a source said. Adhikari said that he was introduced to Samuel by Deputy Mayor Iqbal Ahmed, as per sources. Meanwhile, Trinamool MP Mukul Roy was questioned by the CBI on Monday for over six hours at their office in Nizam Palace in connection with the sting. As per sources, Roy told officials that he did not accept the money personally.
“One thing is very clear that unlike others I was the only one who wasn’t seen accepting cash (in the Narada video). When we have elections, so many people come to meet us. He (Samuel), too, had come to meet. I have given my statement. CBI officials haven’t asked me to appear again as of now,” Roy told the media outside the CBI office.
Narada sting video was shot by Samuel. Several TMC leaders were purportedly seen accepting cash from Samuel, who had posed as a businessman. The tapes were released just before the 2016 Assembly elections. Both the CBI and ED are probing the case.