TT, Calcutta, April 19: Trinamul leaders named in the Narada FIR filed by the CBI met this afternoon and decided against taking individual steps legally or politically, sources said.
The closed-door meeting was chaired by Trinamul national vice-president Mukul Roy, mentioned as "accused 1" in the CBI FIR, and attended by 10 other leaders named by the agency. Calcutta deputy mayor and Khanakul MLA Iqbal Ahmed, who has been in hospital for some time, could not attend the two-and-a-half hour session.
"It was decided that the 12 leaders would do everything as a team in matters related to Narada. It is the Trinamul chief's desire. Any wrong step at this stage could hurt the party," a source said.
The meeting was also attended by law minister Malay Ghatak and his predecessor Chandrima Bhattacharya, both lawyers by profession.
The meeting came a day after the chief minister visited MPs Sudip Bandyopadhyay and Tapas Paul at a Bhubaneswar hospital. Both Bandyopadhyay and Paul have been arrested by the CBI in connection with the Rose Valley defaults case.
Mamata Banerjee's visit was perceived in Trinamul circles as a gesture that the chief minister would stand by those "victimised" by the CBI. Until yesterday, she hadn't visited any of her leaders arrested in connection with the deposit-mobilising scams.
The sources said Roy had today assured the leaders that Mamata and the party would stand by them politically.
Several Trinamul leaders said the meeting was planned against the backdrop of speculation that many of those under the CBI's scanner in the Narada case had approached lawyers individually and spoken to senior BJP members in Delhi.
"Some are exploring legal options individually while others are frantically reaching out to the BJP national leadership.... She (Mamata) has said neither move is necessary," a source said.
According to a senior Trinamul leader, a collective decision was taken at the meeting today against challenging the CBI's FIR in court. "We can think of challenging the individual notices as and when the CBI sends them. We need to examine them on a case-to-case basis. But the FIR will not be challenged."