In a sensational charge, a Salt Lake businessman, Madhusudan Chakraborty, On Monday accused the mayor of Bidhan Nagar Municipal Corporation, Sabyasachi Dutta, of trying to extort money from him to the tune of Rs 1 crore for funding the Trinamul Congress’ election campaign in Tripura Assembly poll.

He also lodged a complaint with the North Bidhan Nagar police station. Releasing purported audio tapes to the media, Mr Chakraborty said to be an aide of BJP leader Mukul Roy, alleged Mr Dutta had threatened him with dire consequences if he didn’t cough up the money by 12 February.

“Since 2 February, Mr Dutta has been demanding money for the Trinamul Congress’ Tripura and Megalaya election campaign. Though I had obliged him by paying Rs 2.30 lakh in cash for the purpose to one Bidyut Ganguly ~ whom Mr Dutta had sent to me to receive the money, it wasn’t enough for him and he continued to demand more,” alleged Mr Chakraborty.

He further complained on 3 February that Mr Dutta had called him up from his cell phone demanding Rs 30 lakh. “But I expressed my inability to pay so much money citing my father’s Kidney ailment. On 6 February he called me up demanding Rs 1 crore. But this time I clearly told him I would speak to him regarding the matter on 12 February,” he alleged.

On Sunday, Mr Chakraborty said, Mr Dutta had again tried to contact him over phone, but he couldn’t take the call. Later, Mr Dutta, according to Mr Chakraborty, threatened him with dire consequences if he failed to give him the money and made it clear to him he could go to any party leader, including chief minister Mamata Banerjee, “who is aware of it, “ but it would be of no use.

Mr Dutta rubbished the allegation and said : “ Why should I demand money ? It is a conspiracy of the BJP to tarnish my image.”

State urban development minister Firhad Hakim also said he had spoken to the chairman who said there was no truth in the allegation and that he would legally fight it.