Governor clears Narada bribe case prosecution ahead of ministers’ swearing-in

43 ministers were sworn-in today.

West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar has given the nod to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute four former ministers of the Mamata Banerjee government in the Narada case. Two of these former ministers facing prosecution – Subrata Mukherjee and Firhad Hakim – were sworn in as ministers in the new government by the Governor himself.

Forty-three ministers in the new government were sworn-in on Monday before they headed to the state administrative headquarters, Nabanna.

The clearance from the Governor has become a matter of discussion immediately. Many pointed out that Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla is yet to sanction the prosecution of Suvendu Adhikari, a former Trinamool Congress minister who is now a BJP MLA from Nandigram. Adhikari was a Trinamool MP when the episode took place. In the just-concluded 2021 Assembly polls, he beat Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram by less than 2,000 votes.

In 2014, a journalist posed as a businessman planning to invest in Bengal, giving cash bribe to several Trinamool leaders that included MPs, ministers, an MLA and a police officer. These were taped and released ahead of the 2016 assembly elections in the state.

The Governor also cleared for the prosecution of Madan Mitra, a Trinamool MLA and Sovon Chatterjee who left Trinamool in August 2019, and joined the BJP. He did not contest the Assembly polls.