‘Stung’ Trinamool leaders back Narada probe

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Kolkata, June 18 (IANS) Notwithstanding the opposition lashing out at West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for ordering a “farcical” probe into the Narada sting controversy, several Trinamool Congress leaders caught in the alleged bribery scandal, on Saturday backed the the move, saying it will unravel the truth.

Carried out by a portal – Narada News – the sting caught on camera over a dozen Trinamool leaders including former union ministers, state cabinet heavyweights and MPs accepting money as “bribes” in return for allegedly doling out favours to a fictitious company.

Made public on March 14, barely weeks ahead of the start of the assembly polls, the sting became a major election issue for the opposition.

Terming the sting as “a provocation and conspiracy to create a hostile public reaction”, Banerjee on Friday ordered the probe to be conducted by city Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar. The opposition, however, was quick to dismiss the move as “farcical” and “aimed at shielding” her partymen.

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But for Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee and party MP Sultan Ahmed – two of those featuring in the sting – the probe is the only way to unravel the conspiracy.

“This (probe) is the right step, it was essential. In the probe we will put forth our side of the story. How the conspiracy was hatched, everything will become clear,” said Ahmed who was alleged in the sting to have taken Rs 5 lakh.

Speaking in the same vein, Mukherjee said: “This is good, except this (probe), there was no other way to unravel the truth.”

Trinamool vice president Mukul Roy, who too was caught in the scandal, pointed to the party’s massive mandate in the assembly polls as a indicator of people not accepting the sting.

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Disregarding of the opposition’s continuous attack on the issue, Banerjee on the day virtually backed her party colleagues caught in the scandal and described such “exposes” as “politics of blackmail”.



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