Image: Sabyasachi Dutta (left) in file photo and Madhusudhan Chakraborty at the Press conference today.
Kolkata: A businessman who deals with real-estate has accused Trinamool MLA and Bidhannagar Mayor, Sabyasachi Dutta, of demanding Rs 30-lakh as a donation to meet the party’s expenses for Tripura Assembly election.
Businessman Madhusudhan Chakraborty also claims to have paid Rs 2.30-lakh to an aide of Dutta on this count. He has lodged an FIR at Bidhannagar North police station and has handed over recordings of the purported phone calls that Dutta made demanding the donation.
Chakraborty has sent a letter to Trinamool supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and has urged her to ensure an unbiased probe in the matter.
Dutta is Trinamool’s observer for Tripura and is now camping there overseeing the party’s election preparedness. Speaking to Bengali news channel ABP Ananda over the phone, he has denied the charges.
Chakraborty, who is in his late 50’s, was arrested last year for allegedly selling off a flat for Rs 1-crore at Salt Lake BD Block using forged land deeds and without the knowledge of the owner. He came out on bail but the case is pending. [READ: Ex Salt Lake Trinamool councillor, who joined BJP, arrested for forgery]
Today around noon, Chakraborty addressed a Press conference at Kolkata Press Club and narrated how Dutta has been allegedly coercing him to pay the huge amount of donation. He played some audio-video clips on a laptop that he recorded during the telephonic conversations with Dutta.
“My only strength is people of Bengal and this is why I am bringing this to the knowledge of the people,” the real-estate businessman said.
According to Chakraborty, Dutta first dialled him about 20 days ago. “I told him that I was unwell. He called again on 2 February and asked Rs 2.30-lakh donation to meet the expenses for party flags, festoons, etc. Soon his aide Bidyut Ganguly arrived and took the money from me.”
“But that was not the end. Dutta called me the next day acknowledging that he has got the money and asked for another Rs 30-lakh for Tripura elections. I told him that my father is in hospital and that I will call him back on 5 February.”
“On 5 February, I called him up and told him that I cannot give such a huge donation but will explore how much I can pay. He called me up on 7 February and said that he has managed the amount from someone else and now, I have to pay Rs 1-crore by 4 pm of 12 February.”
“If you fail to pay up, none will be as evil as I. Even if you report the matter to Mamata Banerjee it won’t help as she knows this. Dutta dialled me last night again and enquired about the status of the donation. I replied saying that I can speak tomorrow only and this made him dial me around 10.30 am today,” businessman Chakraborty added.
Soon after this, the businessman came to Kolkata Press Club and addressed the Press conference. Chakraborty claimed that he had approached some senior Trinamool leaders for help but they advised him to settle the matter with Dutta, else the outcome will not be good.
Reacting to the allegations, Dutta told ABP Ananda: “I am in Tripura for the election and I don’t know anyone by this name (Madhusudhan Chakraborty). Why will I ask money from someone like him when he didn’t borrow any amount from me. Moreover, Tripura election is getting over on 18 February. Why will I ask money for this? Let him go to the police with my voice recordings.” [READ: Trinamool MLA attacks his own party govt, hurls bribe slur on Mamata appointed PSU chairman]
Officials at Bidhannagar North police station said that only political cases are pending against Dutta and there is no complaint about extortion and threat. On the contrary, two criminal cases are pending against Chakraborty. CBI is also probing a bank fraud case against him, they have claimed.