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regular-article-logo Thursday, 23 May 2024

BJP MLA faces probe over job offer graft

Investigation launched against Mukut Mani Adhikari on the basis of a complaint lodged on Tuesday by a resident of Ranaghat

Subhasish Chaudhuri Calcutta Published 02.09.22, 02:32 AM
Mukut Mani Adhikari

Mukut Mani Adhikari File picture

Police have started a probe against Ranaghat South BJP MLA Mukut Mani Adhikari into allegations that he took money from a local resident with the promise of a job at AIIMS Kalyani.

The investigation was launched on the basis of a complaint lodged on Tuesday by Ajit Ghosh, a resident of Ranaghat’s Habibpur-Birpara, who said he had paid Adhikari Rs 2.5 lakh for a group C job. The amount was the first tranche of Rs 10 lakh that the MLA had allegedly demanded.

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Ranaghat police charged Adhikari — a physician by profession — with sections of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to cheating, dishonesty, and criminal breach of trust.

Ranaghat police chief Avijit Banerjee said: “We have begun a probe. But it is at quite an early stage now. We are examining all aspects.”

He refused to disclose whether the MLA had been summoned for submission of his version.

In the first week of June, the CID had begun a probe against four senior BJP leaders in the state, including junior Union education minister Subhash Sarkar, Ranaghat MP Jagannath Sarkar, Bankura MLA Niladri Sekhar Dana, and Chakdah MLA Bankim Ghosh, for allegedly influencing recruitments at AIIMS Kalyani.

The case against Adhikari was started not long after the arrests of Trinamul heavyweights Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal, by central probe agencies.

In his complaint, Ghosh, who works informally as an air-conditioner mechanic, stated that he came in touch with Adhikari before the Assembly election last year, and urged him for a job.

“It was Mukut Mani Adhikari, who told me that he would be able to get me recruited at AIIMS Kalyani with a group C or group D job. He also told me that for group C jobs an aspirant has to pay Rs 10 lakh and for group D jobs the amount is Rs 8 lakh. I told him to get me a group C job. He then demanded an advance, assuring that the appointment would be made after he wins the election,” said Ghosh.

“I sold a shop located at Habibpur market and withdrew my savings to pay Rs 2.5 lakh as advance to Mukut Mani in March last year. The amount was handed over at his private clinic, along with my curriculum vitae. But after winning the election, he snapped ties with me. He stopped receiving my calls. I personally met him once, but he ignored me,” he added.

Adhikari rejected the allegations. “This is a conspiracy to frame me. Let AIIMS find out if I made any recommendations to them. A section of Trinamul has been trying to malign me,” he claimed.

“Many people came to me before the election, for various things. I used to welcome all who sought to meet me at my office, my chamber, and even at my home. I apprehend some big shots are involved in this conspiracy. I suspect it is the handiwork of Trinamul, who could have sent a mole. I am ready to face any inquiry,” he added.

The BJP’s Nadia (north) organising committee and Ranaghat North West MLA Parthasarathi Chatterjee said: “This case is a deliberate ploy to avenge the CBI and ED probes against Trinamul leaders, with the aim to divert the attention of people.”

Meanwhile, the CID has been examining some advertisements posted on social media, seeking job applications for recruitment at AIIMS Kalyani. Sources said fake job applications are also being sold at the Naihati rail station.

Neither AIIMS Kalyani’s executive director Ramji Singh nor its official spokesperson responded to calls from this newspaper.

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