The Calcutta High Court on Friday has ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe the Narada News sting operation case. The case involves several top Trinamool Congress leaders as well as West Bengal administrative personnel allegedly accepting bribes. This could spell trouble for top Trinamool leaders and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself.
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The Mamata Banerjee government is already under fire from various quarters following the involvement of several of its leaders in the Saradha and Rose Valley chit fund scams. Some of them have already been arrested in connection with the scams, and are currently in jail as the probes continue.
What has compounded the problems for Didi (the Bengali name for elder sister by which Mamata Banerjee is known to her supporters and detractors) even more, are a series of events that have painted West Bengal in communal light. For instance, fatwas were issued by a top Muslim cleric, one of which amounts to threat of murder.
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Now, with the CBI investigating whether the tapes of the sting operation conducted by South Indian portal Narada News are authentic, Banerjee has further reasons to be afraid. And that fear showed when she told reporters later on Friday: "I will not comment on this. We will approach higher judiciary."
This is more so because this time she cannot accuse the Central government — led by her bête noire Prime Minister Narendra Modi — of using its influence to get back at her: The order for the CBI probe was given by the Calcutta High Court. However, she did find a way to blame the BJP, when she said on Friday: "Everyone knows this that the sting was published from the BJP office." It is interesting how she did not blame the Left parties, because Kerala — where Narada News is based — is a Left bastion.
Reacting to the development, Narada News CEP Mathew Samuel, reacting to the Development, told a Bengali news outlet: "I welcome this order. A clean probe will be possible as a result of this. The Kolkata police have already initiated two cases against me. I am being harassed over complaints regustered at the Lalbazar and Muchipara police stations [in Kolkata]."
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