West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday landed at the CBI office at Nizam Palace in Kolkata, just minutes after the arrests of 4 leaders, Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra and former TMC leader Sovan Chatterjee, in the Narada bribery case. According to Trinamool’s lawyer Anindya Raut, Banerjee said the way the CBI arrested the leaders without due procedure, they will have to arrest her also. She spent 45 minutes at the agency’s office as Trinamool leaders protested outside
CM Mamata Banerjee told the CBI officials that there is no rule that without the speaker’s and State government’s permission one can arrest state officials, Raut added.
The arrest of 4 leaders come days after West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had sanctioned the CBI’s request to prosecute Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs Subrata Mukherjee, Firhad Hakim and Madan Mitra, and former TMC and BJP leader Sovan Chatterjee in the Narada sting case.
The Narada case involves a sting operation conducted by Narada news founder Mathew Samuel for two years in West Bengal. The Narada news released videos showing 13 TMC ministers and leaders accepting bribes in return of favours, or misusing official positions, ahead of the 2016 Assembly election.
The CBI claimed that all four were caught accepting bribes in a sting operation tapes, which was filmed in 2014, and released ahead of the 2016 Assembly polls. All four were ministers in the previous Mamata Banerjee government.
Meanwhile, in the last month’s Bengal election, Firhad Hakim and Subrata Mukherjee were sworn in by the Governor as members of the new Mamata Banerjee cabinet. On the other hand, Madan Mitra, a Trinamool MLA, was not named minister in the new government, and Sovan Chatterjee left Trinamool in 2019, joined the BJP but quit in March.