Thane rural police have booked a Mumbai unit office-bearer of the BJP for allegedly duping several job aspirants to the tune of Rs 65 lakh, an official said on Friday.
The accused, Laique Musa Shaikh alias Laique Patel, is the general secretary of the minority cell of BJP's Mumbai unit, police said.
A woman from Naya Nagar in Mira Road lodged a complaint against Shaikh on Thursday.
As per the complaint, she had met Shaikh during a programme organised by the minority cell in her area in April 2018.
"During the event, he told the victim and others that the minority cell was going to organise a number of similar programmes and launch several schemes for the unemployed. He promised to provide them jobs in the railways," an official attached to Thane district rural police said.
Shaikh also introduced them to the chairman of the Maulana Azad Minorities Financial Development Corporation(MAMFDC) during the event.
He also claimed that he was close to Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and other senior leaders of the party, the official said.
"During the event, he told them that loan of up to Rs 20 lakh would be made available to them by the MAMFDC, for which they have to pay Rs 50,000 processing fee," he said.
"From April 2018, he collected Rs 51.75 lakh from the victims under the promise of providing jobs to the railways and Rs 13.50 lakh under the pretext of loan processing fee," the official said.
However, when the victims started calling him for follow-up, he gave them evasive answers.
"The victims then realised that they have been duped by Shaikh, following which a complaint was lodged," he said.
A case has been registered against him under section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code, the official said.