West Bengal BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, a former ally of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, was today summoned by the state police in connection with the death of a security staffer in 2018. The person had died of a bullet wound.
Mr Adhikari has been asked to appear before the state criminal investigation department on Monday. The agency is probing if the official died by suicide or someone else was involved.
The development comes days after Trinamool MP Abhishek Banerjee, Ms Banerjee’s nephew, was summoned to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on Monday, September 6, in an alleged money laundering case involving coal smuggling. The Diamond Harbour MP’s wife, Rujira Banerjee, too, was asked to appear before the agency in New Delhi on September 1.
Along with the Trinamool MP and his wife, two senior West Bengal police officials and state Law Minister, Moloy Ghatak, have also been called in for questioning in connection with the case.
Suvendu Adhikari, the state Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal, was Chief Minister Banerjee’s Transport Minister till November 2020 when he quit his post and joined the BJP. The 50-year-old has turned into a bitter foe of hers since then, going on to defeat her from the Nandigram constituency in the state Assembly polls held a few months ago. The Trinamool chief has, however, challenged the election results in court.
He is said to have been the key force behind the anti-land acquisition movement in Nandigram in the late 2000s, which put Ms Banerjee at the centrestage of West Bengal politics.
In 2014, Mr Adhikari was interrogated by the CBI for his alleged role in the Saradha Group financial scandal. One video, recorded secretly, showed him allegedly accepting wads of money, which was said to be a bribe.