Sacked Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee’s aide Arpita Mukherjee told Enforcement Directorate that she had no idea about the money and valuables in two of her apartments as Chatterjee would never allow her to enter the “locked rooms.” In the latest raid, cash and Rs 4.3 crore of jewellery were seized by the ED, six days after it seized Rs 21.9 crore and Rs 54 lakh in foreign currency.
Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee met protesting School Service Commission (SSC) job aspirants in West Bengal on Friday and assured that their problem would be solved. The aspirants also said that the meeting was “fruitful,” and that the senior TMC leader assured them that justice would be delivered. Education Minister Bratya Basu and Trinamool Congress state general secretary Kunal Ghosh were also present alongside Banerjee.
The protesters have been staging protests for several weeks in Dharamtala area in Kolkata, alleging irregularities in SSC recruitments.
A day after being stripped of party and ministerial duties, arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee claimed he was a victim of a conspiracy. The ruling Trinamool Congress, however, asserted that he alone was responsible for his fate, seemingly shrugging off responsibility for Chatterjee.
Partha Chatterjee, who was held in connection with a school recruitment scam, is presently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate. As he deboarded a vehicle after being taken to ESI hospital at Joka on the southern outskirts of the city for a medical check-up during the day, and was approached by reporters, Chatterjee said he was just a “victim of a conspiracy”. Later, while exiting the hospital, he said time will tell if the action taken against him by the TMC was justified.
“This decision (to suspend me) could influence an impartial probe. Only time will tell whether the decision was right or wrong,” he said. About the move to remove him from the ministry, Chatterjee, once considered a close confidante of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said, “Her (Banerjee’s) decision is right.” The TMC leadership, however, took exception to his comments and said Chatterjee was himself responsible for his fate.
“Who will conspire against him? What is he trying to imply? The money was recovered from the flat of his close aide. He himself is responsible for this situation,” senior TMC leader Sougata Roy said. TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh, who had been vociferous over the demand to sack Chatterjee, said: “After so many days, he is saying it’s a conspiracy. As a citizen of this country, he can always approach the court. Let law take its own course,” he said.
Chatterjee, who was the industries and parliamentary affairs minister, had held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off. He was relieved of his duties as minister-in-charge of various departments and suspended from the TMC on Thursday. He was also removed from all party posts.
One of his close aides, Arpita Mukherjee, has also been arrested by the ED after crores of rupees in cash were seized from her residences in parts of the city. Mukherjee, who was taken to the ESI hospital for check-up in a separate car, was seen breaking down on her arrival at the medical facility.
With inputs from News18