India's Central Bureau of Investigation today arrested four persons, including two senior West Bengal ministers and a key leader of the state's ruling Trinamool Congress, in Kolkata in connection with a news portal's sting operation related to alleged bribery, officials said.
An angry Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached the CBI office in Kolkata's Nizam Palace where TMC workers protested against the arrest of the three senior TMC leaders, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
The CBI claims that Firhad Hakim, Subrata Mukherjee -- ministers of the Mamata cabinet with Transport, Urban and Housing and Panchayati Raj Ministers portfolios respectively -- and Madan Mitra were caught on camera accepting wads of currency notes in the sting operation conducted by a news portal shot in 2014. The video tapes were released ahead of assembly elections in the state in 2016.
Mitra was not included in the ministry after TMC won a landslide victory in recent assembly poll.
The fourth person arrested by CBI was Sovan Chatterjee, former TMC leader and Kolkata Mayor.
All four were ministers in the previous Mamata Banerjee government when the Narada bribery tapes were shot in 2014.
A CBI team, along with central security forces, reached the residences of the four and picked them up.
Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar had recently sanctioned prosecution of Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee in the Narada case.
Chatterjee has snapped his ties with both TMC and Bharatiya Janata Party which he had joined in 2019.
A journalist from Delhi came to Kolkata, posed as a businessman planning to invest in Bengal, gave wads of cash to seven Trinamool MPs, four ministers, one MLA and a police officer as bribe and taped the entire operation.