A news website, Narada News, has released a series of shocking videos of a sting operation that show senior Trinamool Congress leaders accepting bribes from the news agency’s investigative team in disguise. The two-year-long investigation by Narada claims to have revealed that “Mamata’s government as well as her party, the TMC, is run by perhaps the most corrupt elements in the country.”
The investigation started before the Lok Sabha elections of 2014, shortly after the TMC government in West Bengal was accused of being intimately involved with the Sarada Scam. Over a period of two years, investigative journalists Mathew Samuel and Angel Abraham have recorded a series of videos of TMC leaders accepting bribes from representatives of a fictitious company titled “Impex Consultancy” that sought undue favours from them.
The videos that the news agency released on Monday morning contained footages of former railway minister and the then second-in-command of the TMC, Mukul Roy, who is seen asking money to be paid at his office. Senior TMC leader and now Minister for Panchayat and Rural Development, Subrata Mukherjee was also seen pocketing a huge sum of money in the video.
Ten more individuals associated with the TMC were also seen accepting bribes in the videos. Following is the full list of people who were allegedly caught accepting bribes in Narada News’ sting operation:
1) MH Ahmed Mirza (Senior police officer) – 5 Lakh
2) Mukul Roy (former union and railway minister) – 20 Lakh
3) Subrata Mukherjee (Minister for panchayat and rural dvpt) – 5 Lakh
4) Sultan Ahmed (former union minister and MP) – 5 Lakh
5) Sugata Roy (former union minister) – 5 Lakh
6) Suvendu Adhikari (TMC youth wing president) – 5 Lakh
7) Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar (political leader) – 4 Lakh
8) Prasoon Banerjee (MP) – 4 Lakh
9) Shovon Chatterjee (Mayor of kolkata) – 5 Lakh
10) Madan Mitra (former minister of transport) – 5 Lakh
11) Iqbal Ahmed (Member of west Bengal assembly) – 5 Lakh
12) Firhad Hakim (Minister of urban development) – 5 Lakh
“We have about 52 hours of footage of this operation,” writes Mathew Samuel of Narada News, “What we understood after analyzing it again and again is that all levels of the leadership of the Trinamool Congress were more than willing to side step the norms, circumvent laws to extend illegal help to those who offer money.”
The TMC immediately dismissed the videos calling them doctored and a politically motivated “smear campaign” by the opposition who are now resorting to “dirty tricks” to defame the TMC in the upcoming elections. Representatives from the party threatened to sue Narada News for defamation.
The Logical Indian Take:
The fact that the Trinamool Congress had won a huge public mandate in the last state election testifies that the people of West Bengal had put their faith in the party for a stable, corruption-free government. If the videos from the sting operation are authentic, it is extremely shocking and shameful, to say the least, to see senior members of the same party indulging in corrupt practices of this magnitude.
The Logical Indian demands an independent investigation to be undertaken immediately to verify the contents of the videos. The accused, if found guilty, must be charged and punished duly. At the same time, we applaud Narada News and its journalists for their fearless attempt at exposing corruption at the highest levels. It is high time that we took corruption seriously and took necessary steps to punish the guilty.