Raising the discomfort index just before the second phase of polls in Bengal, Lok Sabha ethics committee has sent notice to five Trinamool Congress MPs in connection with the Narada videos.
The MPs have to send their responses in writing.
None of the MPs who got the notice was ready to offer any comment.
“We demanded a joint Parliamentary committee to investigate the video. But now that the ethics committee has sent the notice, it has to quickly move on the issue,” remarked CPI-M politburo member and Lok Sabha MP Md Salim.
“Even though it is delayed by a few weeks, the decision of the ethics committee is welcome. It’s a shame that neither Modi nor Mamata government took any action following the sting operation,” said AICC member Omprakash Mishra.
According to rules, the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee can’t proceed with this matter when it is subjudice,” party MP and advocate Kalyan Banerjee told HT.
“Kalyan Banerjee is offering excuses that are forwarded when petty criminals are caught,” remarked Md Salim.
“The party will say whatever it has to,” was all that Howrah MP and former India football team captain Prasun Banerjee said.
Trinamool Congress has been in deep embarrassment after 13 of its leaders – MLA, minister and MPs – were seen accepting cash in a sting operation conducted by Naradanews.com. Among those seen taking money in the video were Saugata Roy, Sultan Ahmed, Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, Prasun Banerjee, Subhendu Adhikari, Aparupa Poddar (all MPs), Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee (both ministers), Sovan Chatterjee, (Kolkata mayor) and Iqbal Ahmed (MLA).
Interestingly, the party has been shifting its stand on the matter. After the video came to light on March 14, Trinamool leaders said the tapes were “manufactured” (read doctored) and everything was false. But in the Calcutta high court during the hearing of PILs, Kalyan Banerjee said that the money was actually granted to the party.
On April 9 party secretary general Partha Chatterjee announced that Trinamool Congress will conduct an internal probe into the video. “If anybody is found guilty, he/she will not be spared,” Chatterjee remarked but preceded and followed it up accusing the opposition of conspiring against their party and the sting being a result of this plot.