A police case has been filed against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari and his brother for allegedly stealing relief material worth several lakhs from a municipality office in West Bengal’s Purba Medinipur district, about 150 km from state capital Kolkata.
The case was registered on the complaint of Ratnadip Manna, a member of Kanthi Municipal Administrative Board, at Kanthi Police Station.
“On 29 May 2021 at 12:30 pm as per direction of Suvendu Adhikari and his brother and former Municipal Chief Soumendu Adhikari of Kanthi Municipality, Government tripal whose estimated value is around lakhs of rupees, was taken away from municipality office godown by forcefully and illegally opening locks,” read the complaint submitted by Mr Manna at Kanthi Police Station on June 1.
The BJP has repeatedly thrown the charge of siphoning off relief material at the Trinamool Congress but now Suvendu Adhikari and his brother have been booked on exactly the same charge.
The complaint also mentioned that the BJP leaders used armed central forces deployed for their security in the alleged theft. Suvendu Adhikari has not reacted to the developments yet.
The case was filed on a day when Mr Adhikari’s close aide was arrested by Kolkata Police in a cheating case.
Rakhal Bera was arrested on charges of duping a person with promise of a job in Irrigation and Waterways Ministry in 2019. The complainant alleged he paid ₹2 lakh but did not get promised the job.
Suvendu Adhikari, who till November was a cabinet minister in Ms Banerjee’s government, joined the BJP in December 2020. He is currently the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly.
Mr Adhikari had defeated Ms Banerjee by around 1,200 votes in the recently concluded Assembly election in Nandigram constituency.