THE STING IN FULL
- Published 15.03.16
The following are the images of 13 persons, other than that resembling Calcutta mayor Sovan Chatterjee, that figure on the Narada News tapes. The Telegraph has not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the tapes
Conversation with then SP of Burdwan, S.M.H. Meerza
Meerza : Mukul da is very frank with me.
Narada: For deals and everything?
Meerza: I have already arranged 60 for him. Besides this 60. When we met in the morning, he just woke up. He woke up with my call only.
Meerza: I was trying to call him since 8. Twice missed calls, I have sent an SMS then. Another chap had gone then.
Narada: Yes. I have seen you with one brief case.
Meerza: But he refused to take. He told just go to Meerza. Keep it there, I will take from Mirza.
Meerza: It is not advised to keep hard cash with me.
Narada: He is scared of some enforcement raid, right?
Meerza: That's why he was saying. Now that election is there now only that enforcement raid.... This expenditure observer, if they got a clue or something this party will be spoiled out. This party will go for a sixer.
This recording was done when Mukul was the second in command of the party. His office was full of people. We could not record there, due to frisking before entering his office.
Conversation with Mukul Roy
Mukul Roy: Go immediately. And talk to Meerza only. I have already spoken to Meerza. We will be friends. And then you should go to Burdwan. Talk to my SP Meerza. He will keep the relation between me and you. Everything can be communicated through Meerza.
Mukul: You can go and talk to Meerza. Go, I have informed Meerza. He is here somewhere. Call him before going, you can go and give it to Meerza
Mukul: Give it to my office. I am not taking it straightaway. I will tell my men, so you give it to them.
Narada: Your office, where exactly?
Mukul: 61 Elgin Road, come after an hour, its just near to this road.
Narada: I have 20 lakhs, I will go to your office and will give. You will be there no?
Mukul: Yes, I will be there.
Mamata Banerjee many a times used to flaunt her association with Subrarta Mukherjee. Now minister for panchayat and rural development, Mamata considers Subrata as her mentor.
But we saw the true nature of the mentor. He was very eager to help us in any way, of course, after pocketing all the money offered to him.
Conversation with Subrata Mukherjee
Subrata Mukherjee: Sir, this is 4. I will give the one later.
Former Union minister and member of Parliament Sultan Ahmad is the Muslim face of the party. But above all, he is considered to be the Mr Clean of Bengal politics. We witnessed what lies behind the carefully constructed image of honesty and integrity, when we met Sultan Ahmad to seek favours from the state government and his party.
He had no qualms in offering any help after receiving the money we offered.
Conversation with Sultan Ahmad
Narada: I will give 5 but you have to do our work. Sir, arranging money was too difficult because of the strike. Yesterday and today, arranging money was too difficult and election is very near.
Sultan: Everyday there is more expenditure
Narada: You want more?
Sultan: If you have
Narada: I will give 5 more. But Sir, you have to give our work also.
Sultan: My assistance is there for whatever you do, my letter, recommendations....
Narada: Sir we need your lobbying.
Sultan: Ok. I will help you.
We have about 52 hours of footage of this operation. What we understood after analysing it again and again is that all levels of the leadership of the Trinamul Congress were more than willing to sidestep the norms, circumvent laws to extend illegal help to those who offer money.
Saugata Roy was a physics professor and national science talent search scholar before he entered politics. He was a former minister in the Manmohan Singh government and is the party's face on national television. But Saugata Roy's scholarship did not deter him from accepting the bribe given for providing Impex Consultancy all help.
Conversation with Saugata Roy
Roy: It's lot of money
Narada: This is four, this is 1000.... Total five lakhs
Roy: You are Impex?
Narada: Impex Consultancy
Roy : And your name is?
Narada: Santosh Shankaran
Subhendu Adhikari is known as the young Turk of the TMC. The new generation leader was agreed to help Impex Consultancy for a few bundle of currency notes.
Conversation with Subhendu Adhikari
Narada: Five lakh rupees, Sir
The second most important woman leader in Trinamul Congress after Mamata is Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar. A doctor by profession, Kakoli Ghosh is a member of Parliament. Her husband is a minister in the Mamata cabinet. Kakoli and former football player and MP Prasun Banerjee were also willing to dole out favours for money.
Conversation with Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar
Narada: This is for you. Anything more?
Kakoli: Nothing at the moment I understand.
Sovan Chatterjee is an important leader and very close to Mamata Banerjee's family. The mayor of Calcutta, after receiving money, promised to introduce us to all the power centres. He also offered us all help as the mayor of Calcutta.
Conversation with Sovan Chatterjee
Narada: Four lakh rupees
Narada: Tomorrow I will give one lakh
Sovan: Not audible
Sovan: Mamatadir purotai ami dekhe nichhi. (I am looking after everything for Mamatadi)
Narada: Just introduce me.
Sovan: After the election, I will introduce.
Madan Mitra, former minister in the Mamata cabinet, was forced to resign after the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI arrested him for his involvement in the Saradha chit fund scam. We met him before his involvement in the scam came out in the open. His lust for money was very evident when we approached him.
Conversation with Madan Mitra
Narada: Total five lakhs.
Madan: Keep the money aside. Just go to that. Come here and open that drawer.
Karan Sharma, Trinamul Congress youth wing or Yuva President, is a close aide and confidant of Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee.
Karan Sharma and his partner Sujoy Krishna met us at Abhishek's plush office. They assured us all of our work would be done through Abhishek and Mamata.
Conversation with Karan Sharma and Sujoy Krishna
Sujoy: There will be an official sitting, today I am sitting with you unofficially. This office is empty, nobody is there. We will sit officially.
Karan: You are looking for the right man, he is the right hand, I am telling you. Because there are many people who are coming to Banerjee looking for help. Whenever there is anything that involves the benefit of the state. You can say he is a seasoned spokesperson. He is the right hand. You can always speak to Mr. Basu and he will help you
Sujoy: After sitting with you I will organise the meeting with ministers and from there you will receive every positive response.
Iqbal Ahmad, member of the West Bengal Assembly, who raises funds for himself and the Trinamul, took five lakhs or five hundred thousand Indian rupees from us, when we met him at his residence.
Iqbal Ahmad, MLA, took five lakh from us when we met him at his residence.
Conversation with Iqbal Ahmad
Narada: Two, three, four, five are you seeing the currency. 1,000, 500...
Iqbal: Please give Subrata Mukherjee. You have to pay him one lakh.
Firhad Hakim, the urban development minister, is another leader with a clean image.
Also called Bobby Hakim, Firhad Hakim turned out to be a tough negotiator. He said he was not interested in peanuts and took nothing less than five lakhs. We paid him what he demanded.
Conversation with Firhad Hakim
Firhad: If we get involved in small stuff, what will the kids do?
Firhad: Go downstairs and give the money. We will do the counting later. (He instructed a boy wearing an Agrani Club T-shirt)
As Bengal prepares for the next election, it's time to take stock of the situation. Did Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamul Congress, which rode to power on the common man's urge for change, live up to expectations? Or did TMC betray their historic mandate? X-Files is an attempt to lay bare what happens in the corridors of power. It is also an attempt to show how a few wads of currency can get things moving faster in India's eastern state of West Bengal.