BJP member Mahesh Sharma, who contested West Bengal Assembly polls from Raniganj in earlier this year, was arrested by police today on charges of money laundering. Several lakhs of cash in Rs 2000 notes were recovered from him. The police also nabbed few suspected members of the coal mafia into custody. Sharma had lost the Raniganj election after polling in just 18 per cent of the votes. He was in third position, behind CPI (M,) who won the election but lost the mandate as they could not wrest control from the Trinamool Congress.
Manish Sharma was arrested aling with others on Monday night after the police got information that the armed group was travelling to Kolkata from Asansol. They were carrying semi-automatic pistols and ammunition.They had managed to slip past the police before reaching Kolkata. But the police traced them through mobile towers and nabbed them from a flat near the Kolkata airport. They were held under the Arms Act and remanded in police custody till Friday.
Kolkata: STF arrested 7 people including BJP leader Manish Sharma with Rs 33 lakhs(new Rs 2000 notes) and arms, later sent to police custody pic.twitter.com/ytfegJUDHb
— ANI (@ANI_news) December 6, 2016
Before the state went to Assembly elections, party leader Shakeel Ansari alleged that Sharma was fielded from the district because of his financial clout. “Manish is a rich man. I am not. The situation prevalent when Rahul Sinha was the party president continues even during Dilip Ghosh’s reign. I wish I too had ancestral property so that I could pay a lot of money to get a ticket,” he was quoted as saying. Later, Ansari joined TMC after no Muslim candidate were named in the first list of candidates announced by the BJP.