- CBI filed case based on footage showing Trinamool leaders accepting cash
- Names include 12 seniors party leaders including Lok Sabha MPs
- Ms Banerjee alleged CBI is being used by centre to persecute her party
"So what if there is an FIR?" said the Chief Minister in Kolkata today. "An FIR doesn't mean anybody is guilty. This is a political game. We will fight it politically. There is nothing to worry about."
She alleges that the CBI is being used by the centre to persecute her party, because of its consistent opposition to several initiatives by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, including his abrupt decision to ban high-denomination notes in November.
12 seniors leader from Trinamool Congress, including Lok Sabha MPs and current and former ministers like Madan Mitra and Firhad Hakim, are named by investigators in the FIR filed today, which outlines the early charges and evidence against them.
The country's premier investigating agency was ordered to take charge of the inquiry by the Calcutta High Court last month. Ms Banerjee's government asked the Supreme Court to reject that move, stating that the Bengal police was progressing with its probe, but was turned down by the top court.
Ahead of the Bengal election last year, Narada released video that showed Trinamool leaders- or people resembling them -accepting cash from the website's journalists who posed as the representatives of a fictitious company seeking favours from the government. Ms Banerjee's government has argued that the footage was doctored. The Calcutta High Court has said that doesn't appear to be the case, based on the findings of a forensic lab that scoured the video.
The Trinamool Congress has also seen seared by the arrests of two senior leaders for alleged involvement in a Ponzi Scheme called the Rose Valley Chit Fund in which small-time investors were gypped of savings through an unregulated fund. Before that, Trinamool leaders were accused of close links to the Saradha Group, a group of companies, that went bust in 2013, wiping out as much as $3.7 billion in deposits from mostly low-income families. Saradha allegedly had some Trinmaool MPs on its payroll.