Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Suvendu Adhikari, who is fighting chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram, on Monday sought rejection of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief’s nomination and alleged that she had not declared pending criminal cases against her.
The development came on a day the state appointed a new director of security after the previous officer was removed by the election commission of India (ECI) due to lapses in Banerjee’s security that led to her sustaining injuries in Nandigram last week.
In a letter to the returning officer of Nandigram constituency in East Midnapore, the TMC-turncoat alleged Banerjee had not declared cases by Assam Police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). “Under the circumstances, we humbly pray that the nomination of the candidate Mamata Banerjee be forthwith rejected,” his letter read.
“I have informed the Election Commission of India (ECI). Now they would search for the cases and find out. Let’s see what actions they take,” Adhikari told the media.
The BJP leader, once a close aide to Banerjee, alleged that at least five cases are pending against the latter in Geeta Nagar, Pan Bazaar, Jagiroad, North Lakhimpur and Udharbond in Assam.
A senior CBI official, however, said the woman named in the case was a different woman and not the TMC supremo. The accused’s name was also Mamata Banerjee, the official said, preferring anonymity.
“The central government employee was employed in Asansol, Durgapur zone, at that time. Even though his wife Mamata Banerjee was not named in the FIR, her name was later included in the charge sheet. This is not the chief minister,” the CBI official said.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh rejected the allegation. “It is shameful. The BJP is trying to malign the chief minister and casting aspersions against her by linking her to a case in which another person has been named. He knows very well that he would lose, and his security deposit would be forfeited. So he is resorting to such malicious propaganda.”
Meanwhile, the West Bengal government appointed IPS officer Gyanwant Singh as the new director, security, a day after IPS officer Vivek Sahay was removed from the post by ECI over the March 10 incident in Nandigram in which Banerjee was injured.
Chief secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay decided to appoint Singh, who was earlier additional director of security, after a meeting with director general of police (DGP) P Nirajnayan who, too, was recently appointed by the poll panel.
On March 10, Banerjee was injured during a public interaction, hours after she filed her nomination from the Nandigram constituency. The poll panel later suspended and removed Sahay on the grounds that he failed to protect the chief minister who enjoys Z+ category security.