Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Sisir Kumar Adhikari, father of BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari, on Thursday rubbished Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s allegations over poor work and improper utilisation of funds during the beautification work of Digha Shankarpur Development Authority (DSDA).
Sisir responded to the charges levelled against DSDA by the Chief Minister because he was the Chairman of the DSDA till January 2021.
He was removed by Banerjee, months after his son Suvendu Adhikari joined the BJP, for making political statements against the party line.
Speaking to News18, Sisir Adhikari, said, “I was not alone in charge of various projects under DSDA. Many people were associated with beautification related work at DSDA. Some of them could be seen along with them (TMC leaders) very frequently. They were part of various meetings and gave approvals to the files. Now, they became innocent and I became a criminal because of my differences with the TMC.”
He said, “There are some glaring factual errors in Mamata Banerjee’s charges. The damaged road at Digha which she mentioned is not at all a government land. It is private land. The state government didn’t sanction adequate funds for the beautification work. Despite that, we were trying our best to expedite the construction works but in the meantime, they removed me as the chairman of DSDA. This left several works pending and now she is accusing us. She didn’t allow me to work because I was removed. Last but not the least, some of the construction work was going on. It was supposed to be finished by the coming winter but in the meantime Cyclone (Yaas) hit the area.”
On TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee’s allegations against him for not doing his job properly as a chairman of DSDA, he said, “I don’t remember whether he has done any significant work for Bengal. But I can say with full responsibility that we have worked hard and the people of Nandigram have already given their verdict (hinting at Mamata Banerjee’s defeat). Finally, I would like to say that let the people of Bengal decide whether we have committed anything wrong or not.”
Meanwhile, Sudip Bandyopadhyay wrote a letter to the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla seeking disqualification of TMC MP from Contai in East Midnapore, Sisir Kumar Adhikari as a Member of the Lok Sabha, as per Rule 6 of the Members of Lok Sabha (disqualification on grounds of defection) Rules, 1985 read with Para 2(1)(a) of the Tenth Schedule read with Article 102 (2) of the Constitution of India.
“I humbly request you to forthwith take necessary steps in light of the prayers made out in the petition as well as the prevailing laws,” Sudip’s letter to Om Birla reads.
In the context of Sudip Bandyopadhyay’s letter, Sisir Adhikari said, “I would not like to make any comments in this matter. I will respond to this on an appropriate platform.”
On May 2, Mamata Banerjee ordered an inquiry against negligence and “questionable" beautification work done in Bengal’s Digha in East Midnapore.
Digha is nearly 185 KM from Kolkata and it is one of the best beach destinations in West Bengal.
Sisir Adhikari was the Chairman of DSDA and just three and half months before he was removed by Mamata Banerjee in January 2021 (months after his son Suvendu Adhikari joined BJP).
The Chief Minister has ordered an inquiry after she has found that most of the beautification and construction work done after Cyclone Amphan was damaged. She suspected that the damage happened due to the poor quality of construction work done during the beautification of Digha by the DSDA.
She also came down heavily on government officials and private construction companies for delay in construction, poor management and poor construction of embankments and roads.