West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that her party MP Sultan Ahmed, who died on Monday, had been “under extreme stress” as he was being probed by the CBI in the Narada scam and accused the agency of slapping a notice even after his death.
“I got information that when his dead body was being taken, a CBI notice was served. There was some Narada case of Rs 1 to 1.5 lakh… he was under extreme stress… it was not his age to die… we are all very saddened,” Banerjee said at the State Secretariat after an administrative review.
Ahmed, a sitting Lok Sabha member of the Trinamool Congress, died on Monday following a massive cardiac arrest. He was 64.
Trinamool leader Subrata Bakshi said Ahmed was put under pressure in the “name of an investigation”.
“The ruling party at the Centre was not able to compete politically. In the name of an investigation, he was put under pressure for the last 7-10 months,” he said.
However, condemning Banerjee’s statement, the BJP leadership alleged the state Chief Minister was doing politics over the death of a colleague.
“How can someone sitting in the position of a Chief Minister, do politics with the dead body of one of her colleague? Such behaviour from a Chief Minister is extremely unfortunate and condemnable. It does not suit someone in her position,” said BJP’s National Secretary Rahul Sinha.
“His death is unfortunate. Our party neither support nor indulge in such politics over someone’s dead body,” he added.
State Congress President Adhir Chowdhury termed Banerjee’s allegations as “baseless” and said before putting the blame on the CBI, Banerjee should consider the situation of “thousands of prisoners who have been put behind bars for supporting the opposition parties”.
“I was an old friend of Ahmed and felt extremely sorry in the news of his demise. However, the statement made by the Chief Minister is baseless. In 1996, Banerjee herself termed Ahmed as an anti social and did a lot of propaganda against him,” he claimed.
“Thousands of opposition party activists have been jailed here in false cases under the leadership of Banerjee. If she can hold the CBI interrogation responsible for Sultan’s death, what she would say about the torture on those people?” he asked.
Left Front legislative party leader Sujan Chakraborty termed Ahmed’s death as “unfortunate” but he refused to make any comments on Banerjee’s allegations.
Both the Enforcement Directorate and Central Bureau of Investigation had interrogated the Trinamool leader in the Narada sting case.
Ahmed was among a dozen Trinamool leaders allegedly caught on video tape while receiving money in exchange for a promise to dole out favours to a fictitious company. The clipping was uploaded on the Narada news portal in March last year ahead of the assembly elections in West Bengal.