Uunder attack from opposition parties after a news portal released videos of a sting operation purportedly showing some Trinamool Congress leaders accepting money, the ruling party in West Bengal on Saturday said it has ordered an internal probe into the matter.
“The party will conduct an internal inquiry into the sting operation. Action will be taken against anyone found guilty,” party secretary general Partha Chatterjee said.
The party will also look probe whether leaders of other political parties had helped Narada News in conducting the sting operation, Partha said, alleging that Congress, CPM and BJP leaders were involved in it to malign the TMC.
The move comes nearly a month after Narada News, led by its editor-in-chief Matthew Samuel, released several videos of a sting operation showing senior Trinamool Congress, including some ministers, accepting money for getting works done.
The ruling party had earlier dismissed the tapes as “doctored” and said the “dirty tricks departments” of its political opponents were behind the “smear” campaign. “We too have many stings against the opposition parties. But we don’t believe in playing such dirty games,” Partha said.
With the ruling party also facing flak for the March 31 flyover collapse in Kolkata, which claimed 27 lives and left 89 injured, Partha went on offensive and alleged that a senior CPM leader was close to the IVRCL, the Hyderabad-based firm tasked with constructing the Vivekananda flyover. Partha, however, did not reveal the name of the leader.
Meanwhile, reacting to the TMC’s announcement, state Congress chief Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said, “It is due to the pressure of the people that they (TMC) have decided to institute a probe into the matter. But why are they scared of a CBI probe into it?”
Addressing a rally at Nagrakata in North Bengal, Adhir criticised both Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for keeping mum on the Narada sting operation. “The Saradha scam and Narada sting will have impact on the assembly polls. Why are Modi and Mamata quiet on Narada? Why is there no investigation into it ?” they said.
CPM politburo member Mohammed Salim took to Twitter saying Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s had enacted “drama” and led subsequent attacks to “distract public” from the Saradha Scam. “This time it is Narada. People won’t be fooled this time,” he said.
BJP MLA Shamik Bhattacharya said the decision to constitute internal inquiry into the matter is “nothing but an eyewash”.
[With PTI inputs]