Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – the premier investigative agency of the country on Sunday received the approval of West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar to prosecute Trinamool Congress leaders Sovan Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim, Madan Mitra and Subrata Mukherjee in the Narada sting tapes.
“Governor accorded sanction for prosecution of Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra & Sovan Chatterjee being appointing authority of Ministers @MamataOfficial under Article 164 & thus competent authority Media reports that sanction was for being MLA is incorrect,” Governor Jagdeep Dhankar tweeted on Sunday.
Governor accorded sanction for prosecution of Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee, Madan Mitra & Sovan Chatterjee being appointing authority of Ministers @MamataOfficial under Article 164 & thus competent authority
Media reports that sanction was for being MLA is incorrect. pic.twitter.com/vqEg7Cv6OW
— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) May 9, 2021
The statement further reads, “CBI had made a request and made available entire documentation relevant to the case to the governor and he invoked his power under articles 163 and 164 of the Constitution, being the competent authority to accord sanction.”
All of the aforementioned leaders were ministers during the time of the alleged commission of the crime that came to light in the purported tapes. Three of these leaders were ministers in Mamata’s state cabinet at the time, while Madan Mitra was Sports and Transport minister between 2011 and 2015.
Just to jog the reader’s memory a bit, the sting tapes were made public before the 2016 assembly elections in West Bengal, and were claimed to have been shot in 2014. The footage of these sting operations, showed 12 TMC leaders and ministers taking bribe. Some fictitious companies were set up to facilitate monetary transactions to the TMC leaders to gain government favour.
Among the leaders caught on camera were Subrata Mukherjee, Sovan Chatterjee, Madan Mitra and Firhad Hakim. Thereafter, the Calcutta HC ordered a preliminary probe by the CBI in March of 2017. While last year, TMC MP Aparupa Poddar submitted documents to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the Narada tapes scam in which she was also one of the accused.
The fact that Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar gave his accordance a day before these leaders were sworn in as cabinet and state ministers should speak volumes about his determination to engage in a direct fistfight with Mamata. During Mamata’s swearing-in ceremony, the governor had given her a rap on the knuckle by raising the issue of violence in the state where several BJP workers were allegedly slaughtered by the TMC goons.