MP | 17 April 2017 | Kolkata:Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday asserted that merely filing of the FIR by the CBI against Trinamool Congress leaders in the Narada tape case did not mean that their guilt have been proved.
Reacting sharply after CBI filed an FIR against 13 party MLAs, MPs and former MLAs in New Delhi, Banerjee described it as a "political game," and said: "We will fight it out politically."
"Because they (CBI) have filed the FIR, does it mean their guilt is proved? Let them (the CBI) first prove the guilt. There is no cause for any worry," she told reporters at the state Secretariat.
The video of Narada sting operation came to light shortly before the Assembly polls in 2016 when the editor of Tehelka Mathew Samuel disclosed the tapes of the sting operation that was conducted in 2014. The video footage showed Trinamool leaders taking money, the amount of which varied from anything between Rs 3 lakh and Rs 5 lakh.
The Congress and CPI(M) who had formed an unauthorised alliance before the Assembly elections in 2016 criticised Banerjee in every meeting and demanded her resignation. She, in turn, held meetings in all the 294 constituencies and faced the challenge, answering the allegations that were brought forward by the Opposition.
In every political meeting, she had said that her party leaders were not involved in the matter and it was a part of a bigger conspiracy. Some vernacular dailies and television channels also became a part of the conspiracy and did not hesitate to hit Banerjee below the belt questioning her integrity.
However, the people stood by her and the Trinamool Congress won a landslide victory, clinching 211 out of 294 seats.
Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari, whose name has also appeared in the FIR of the CBI, said: "It was a conspiracy and not corruption." He said the matter would be fought politically and legally and there was nothing to worry about.
"It is a conspiracy and an attempt to malign Trinamool Congress. But we will fight it out politically and legally." Adhikari said the allegations did not have any impact on the leaders as "those against whom the allegations were made won the polls by high margin that amounted to anything between 40,000 and 82,000 votes. We have won the battle in people's court. The legal battle will continue," he maintained.