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Candidates Already Decided, Would Have Thought if Sting Tapes Came Out Earlier: Mamata


Trinamool Congress supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said she would have "given a thought" before choosing her party candidates for the ongoing Assembly elections, if the Narada sting operation tapes had been "telecast earlier".

"It is election time, that is why these videos (Narada sting) are being telecast. Nothing can be done now. Candidates have already been announced. If it was earlier, I would have thought about it. Now I am waiting for the report of the investigation into the sting," Banerjee said while addressing some rallies.

In a recent sting operation by news portal Narada, several Trinamool Congress MPs and bigwigs including state ministers were shown purportedly accepting bribes from a fictitious company. The TMC had dismissed the videos as "doctored" and part of a "smear campaign" by its political rivals.

During his election campaign in the state, Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day, said "The whole country has seen it (Narada sting). Bengal's future was being sold before camera. If Left leaders were shown in such video, you (Mamata) would have drummed up protests on the issue throughout the state."

Coming down heavily on the PM, Banerjee said "Narendra Modiji's government doesn't have to pay huge money as debts of the previous government... that is the reason he can talk so big when he comes to Bengal. Neither do those of Rajasthan, Bihar, Gujarat or Uttar Pradesh."

Slamming both the Congress and the Left and harping on the "huge financial burden", she said "We only got political right to administer the state, but not any financial freedom because both the Congress and the BJP governments took away substantial amounts from our revenues to pay off the debts left behind by the CPI(M)."

"We have doubled tax revenues in the last four years without increasing taxes from Rs 20,000 crore to Rs 40,000 crore," Banerjee said.

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