BJP leader in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari, who was a friend-turned-foe of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, has invited fresh trouble after an FIR has been filed against him under the grounds of stealing the relief materials. The FIR includes Suvendu Adhikari's brother Soumendu Adhikari and two others for allegedly involved in the act.
According to reports, a case was filed against them for stealing relief material from a store in Kanthi Municipality in West Bengal's Purba Medinipur district. The relief material was meant for those impacted by the recently hit Cyclone Yaas. The FIR was lodged at the Kanthi Police Station based on a complaint filed by Ratnadip Manna, who is a member of the board of administrators of the municipality.
In his complaint, Manna had alleged that a tarpaulin worth around Rs 2 lakh was stolen from a store managed by the municipality on May 29. According to PTI, a police officer in the case has said that the complainant said that the theft was done in the directions of the Adhikari brothers. All of those named in the FIR have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The complaint has also mentioned that the BJP leader has used the help of the central armed forces in the alleged theft. The complaint which was filed on June 1 said, "On 29 May 2021 at 12.30 pm, as per the direction of Suvendu Adhikari and his brother Soumendu Adhikari of Kanthi municipality, the government's tarpaulin, with the estimated value of Rs 2 lakh, was taken away from the municipality office godown by forcefully and illegally opening the locks."
It must be noted that Suvendu Adhikari, who was the former Minister of West Bengal in the previous Mamata's government, had joined BJP in December 2020 and became a rival for Mamata Banerjee. Being speculated as the BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate in West Bengal in the recently-held assembly polls, Adhikari had taken on Mamata Banerjee in the Nandigram constituency.
In a tightly fought race, Adhikari had eventually won the constituency by defeating Mamata Banerjee in the margin of around 1,200 votes. However, BJP had lost to Mamata Banerjee and she had assumed the Office of the Chief Minister for the third consecutive time. After the debacle, BJP had named Suvendu Adhikari as the Opposition leader in the legislative assembly, and being as the opposition leader, he has now been accused of stealing the relief material.
While Suvendu is the Opposition Leader, his brother Soumendu had previously served as the Chief of the Kanthi municipality. Suvendu is yet to respond to the complaint filed against him and according to reports, the case was filed against Suvendu when his close aide was arrested by Kolkata Police in a cheating case.
The police had arrested Rakhal Bera, Suvendu's close aide, on charges of racketing the money with a promise of a job in the Irrigation and Waterways ministry in 2019. The complainant had alleged that he paid Rs 2 lakh to Bera to get a job but he failed to provide one despite the promise for the job.