Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday ordered Kolkata police to probe the alleged bribery scandal known as Narada sting operation which rocked the state during the 2016 Assembly Elections.
Carried out by the portal -- Narada News -- the sting caught on camera over a dozen Trinamool leaders, including former union ministers, state cabinet heavyweights and MPs, accepting wads of currency notes as "bribes" in return for showing favours to a fictitious company.
After a meeting with the Chief Secretary Basudeb Banerjee and Home Secretary Moloy Dey at her office, Banerjee said during the time of the recent Assembly Election a conspiracy was hatched by inciting people and creating suspicion among them with the help of a so-called sting operation.
However, while ordering the probe, at a press meet at the State Secretariat today, Banerjee said, “Today I have discussed the matter with Chief Secretary and Home Secretary in detail… I have issued an order for police to look into the total episode for investigation and action, according to law.”
"I still believe that there was a conspiracy. We want the truth to come out. That is why I gave an order today to the Chief Secretary that the police will conduct an enquiry into the total episode. They will investigate and act according to law," the CM said.
She reiterated that they wanted the truth to come out in the case, in which the names of several Trinamool Congress ministers were purportedly shown as accepting cash from a fictitious company.
"We are transparent. We want the truth. The police will conduct the probe impartially. The guilty should be punished," Banerjee said adding that the police would find out who was behind the conspiracy.
Asked if the sting tapes were fake, she said, "Why should I comment on that? It will be decided through enquiry. It needs to be understood what was the context of the conversation in the tapes," she said.
According to media reports, the inquiry will be conducted by Kolkata Police, headed by Rajiv Kumar.
Earlier, when the Assembly polls were due in the state, Banerjee had dubbed the expose as "an election political vendetta".
After the tapes were released, TMC spokesperson Derek O’Brien had issued a statement saying, “This is nothing but dirty political vendetta… Trinamool is not afraid.”
The Calcutta High Court is also hearing the matter. The court had constituted a three-member committee to collect videotape footage of the sting.
Reacting to the developments, CPI(M) MLA Sujan Chakravarty said a "fresh plot had been hatched to cover up the scam." BJP vice-president Joyprakash Majumadar demanded a CBI inquiry, while Congress leader Abdul Mannan said that it is "an attempt to fool the people."