West Bengal Transport Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Subhendu Adhikari will not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on 4 August in Narada sting operation and has sought time from the ED stating prior commitments.
The sting operation pertains to the secret filming of the TMC leaders and an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer while they were allegedly accepting money from representatives of a fictitious company in return for extending favours to it.
The TMC leaders, against whom the Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) has registered cases, have also been booked by the Enforcement Directorate, include Rajya Sabha MP Mukul Roy, Lok Sabha MPs Aparupa Poddar, Sultan Ahmed, Prasun Banerjee and Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, including Saugata Roy.
West Bengal ministers, including Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim, Transport Minister Adhikari, Environment Minister Sovan Chatterjee, Panchayati Raj and Rural Development Minister Subrata Mukherjee have also been named in the FIR.
Former minister Madan Mitra, MLA Iqbal Ahmed and IPS officer Saiyaad Mustafa Hussain Mirza have also been made accused in the case.
In three sets of videos of the sting operation, top TMC leaders were allegedly seen accepting bribes from journalists posing as businessmen.
The ruling party had dismissed the allegations citing that the tapes were 'doctored'.
The sting operation video was released on 14 March 2016, just ahead of the West Bengal Assembly elections.