West Bengal caught accepting bribe on sting

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New Delhi, Mar 15: Three West Bengal ministers, some MPs and MLAs allegedly accepted bribes from a fictitious import-export company, according to a news portal “sting” operation but the TMC dismissed the video tape as “doctored”.

The news portal, Narada News, released the  ape of the operation which it claimed to have conducted over the last two years, at a news conference here today, just a month ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.

The tape purportedly shows the ministers and  legislators accepting cash said to be around Rs. 5 lakh each in return for favours such as lobbying for a fictitious company ‘Impex Consultancy’.  A journalist from the portal presented himself as a representative of the company to seek help from  them.

The TMC was quick to dismiss the tapes as “doctored” and said the “dirty tricks departments” of its political opponents were behind the “smear campaign”.

In a video statement, TMC MP Derek O Brien said that the party has seen the video which he described as a “smear” campaign against the party. He threatened to sue the portal for defamation.

“We are completely transparent. (Chief Minister) Mamatadi’s credentials are impeccable.  The people of Bengal know. We are busy with elections now.  So whoever has concocted this smear campaign, please go ahead and concoct your smear campaign or your doctored video.

“Where these videos came from, who doctored these videos will now be put to (test) in a  defamation case. We are not bothered. This is a smear campaign. Our political opponents know they cannot defeat us politically so they create a  cheap tricks department, a dirty tricks department,” he said.

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The journalist Mathew Samuel of the news portal, who led the team that conducted the “sting”, termed the release of the video ahead of the state polls as a “mere coincidence”. He said he had no political backing.

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