The RJD and Congress on Tuesday attacked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the incident involving state Minister Suresh Sharma — who alleged being manhandled by employees of a West Bengal hotel — saying it showed how his much-hyped prohibition was being mocked as the minister was allegedly drunk. The leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav said the West Bengal government should conduct a medical test of Urban Development and Housing Minister Sharma and his supporters who were present at the time of the brawl. “We request West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to kindly enquire into the reality. This shows the ‘goondagardi’ of the honourable BJP minister and on top, they are blaming and questioning the West Bengal government,” the former Deputy Chief Minister said.
While Suresh Sharma on Tuesday alleged complete collapse of law and order in West Bengal, calling the incident a plot to insult him, Tejashwi Yadav said that an FIR lodged by staff of the hotel has clearly mentioned that the minister and his staff were drunk at the time of the incident. Senior Congress leader T.N. Choubey said the Minister has exposed Nitish Kumar’s prohibition by creating troubles in a hotel in West Bengal after consuming liquor. “Bihar minister has vindicated our stand that prohibition is a mere claim and ministers and top officials have been consuming liquor,” he said.
However, Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi has downplayed the incident, saying he will talk to the minister when he returns to find what happened. Janata Dal-United leaders meanwhile declined to comment. Sharma told media in Kolkata said he was allegedly manhandled by hotel employees in Tarapitha, a temple town some 220 km from Kolkata in West Bengal’s Birbhum on Monday. His aides lodged a police case saying that the hotel employees attacked them and abused Sharma when they asked for refund of the booking amount after finding the accommodation was not up to the mark, while the hotel authorities claimed that the Minister’s staff attacked them in a drunken state and committed vandalism.