The CBI, Monday morning, arrested West Bengal Ministers Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim in connection with the Narada graft case.
Earlier the two had been picked up from their homes in South Kolkata and taken to one of the CBI offices in the city.
Hakim, currently the transport minister, is Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s right-hand man, and Mukherjee, in charge of the Panchayat and rural welfare department is one of the most important ministers in the Cabinet.
While being taken to CBI office, Hakim told reporters he was “being arrested”.
“I am being arrested for the Narada sting tapes. I will take it up in Court,” he said on way to the CBI office.
Sources say the central investigating agency will be filing a chargesheet in respect of the Narada graft case today. Other accused have also been brought to the CBI office in the city.
Hakim was named as one of the accused after the Narada sting tapes were made public.
Other accused whom the CBI has arrested include MLA and senior TMC leader Madan Mitra and former city mayor Sovan Chatterjee.
The Narada sting operation was carried out by a portal that showed the Trinamool Congress top-brass including then sitting Bengal Cabinet members reportedly accepting cash bribes.
Hakim’s pick-up was the subject of high drama as his supporters tried to block CBI officials. Some tried to stop the Central officials’ cars.
Central forces were deployed to control crowds as the minister was taken to the CBI office in the city.
Days back West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar sanctioned the prosecution of Hakim, Mukherjee, Mitra and Chatterjee in the graft case.
The CBI had made a request to the West Bengal Governor and provided all the documentation pertinent to the case.
The Trinamool Congress has termed the arrests “political vendetta” and asked why “other leaders who switched camp to BJP” have not been picked up.
Reacting to the arrest, BJP spokesperson Shamik Bhattacharjee said: “Investigations have been going on for some time and the law has taken its course.”
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