Prominent TMC members supposedly taking cash on camera include former railway minister and Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, former Union minister Sugata Roy, Trinamool youth member Suvendu Adhikari, MP Kakoli Ghosh, state urban development minister Firhad Hakkim, MLA Iqbal Ahmad, former footballer and MP Prasoon Banerjee, Kolkata mayor Sovan Chatterjee, former minister and Sarada accused Madan Mitra and the party’s youth wing president Karan Sharma.
While the motive in airing the sting after a long interval has been questioned, the tapes appear to show TMC members taking Rs 4-5 lakh each to facilitate the purported company in getting government works for corporates.
The TMC is seen to have an upper hand in the forthcoming elections but faces a new challenge in the form of a Congress-Left pact and the expose involving senior members can dent the party.
The party strongly refuted the charges, and claimed that it was a smear campaign. “It is a doctored video. It is a conspiracy hatched against our party. We are taking legal steps against the channel,” Mukul Roy, who figures in the sting, said.
The sting was carried out by Mathew Samuel of “Operation West-End” fame – the 2001 tapes that kicked up a controversy over alleged bribes for defence contracts.
Samuel quit Tehelka in February and launched Narada News, under whose banner he unveiled the tapes on Monday. The sting operators claimed they distributed approximately Rs 65 lakh cash among TMC leaders on the eve of Lok Sabha polls as political funds.
14 March 2016 | 3:46 pm
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