Kolkata (West Bengal): A woman hurled a shoe at former West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee while he was being taken to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office from ECI Hospital on Tuesday, who is an accused in West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) scam.
“I had come to throw my shoe on him. He has taken money from poor people. I would have been happier if the shoe would have hit him on his head,” she said when asked why she threw the shoe at Chatterjee.
Meanwhile, an ED search is underway at ‘Magic Touch’ in Patuli in Kolkata; a property owned by Arpita Mukherjee, a close aid of Chatterjee.
However, Chatterjee had denied his involvement in the School Service Commission (SSC) scam and asserted that the “money does not belong to him”.
“When the time comes, you will know…the money does not belong to me,” he said to media persons today upon being asked about who is behind this conspiracy.
Arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee – who is now suspended from the Trinamool Congress – and his aide Arpita Mukherjee have separately been claiming that they are a “victim of a conspiracy.”
Trinamool Congress, which had been distancing itself from its arrested leader Partha Chatterjee, axed him as a minister and suspended him from the party leaving it to him to defend himself in the Enforcement Directorate probe in the teacher recruitment scam in which crores of rupees have been seized from residences linked to his aide Arpita Mukherjee.
Trinamool Congress’ decision to part ways with one of its most senior leaders was announced by party leader Abhishek Banerjee at a press conference in which he said “if anyone commits something wrong then Trinamool Congress will not spare him” and ‘there will be zero tolerance for corruption”. He said Partha Chatterjee will remain suspended till probe is underway.
Partha Chatterjee was considered one of the most trusted lieutenants of the Chief Minister, a “go-to” man and was regarded third in party hierarchy after the chief Minister and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
After his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate, in connection with the School Service Commission (SSC) scam in West Bengal, Chatterjee had reportedly called Mamata Banerjee four times, which she allegedly did not pick.
Abhishek Banerjee has told the media that Chatterjee has been removed from TMC along with the post of general secretary, national vice president and three other posts.
“He has been suspended till the investigation is underway. He can come back if proven not guilty. CM took the decision and the (Partha Chatterjee) minister was removed. The probe into the matter is underway. If anyone commits something wrong then TMC won’t spare him,” he said adding that the investigating agency must complete the probe in a time-bound manner.
“There will be zero tolerance for corruption. Investigating agency must complete the probe within the time limit. Even in Sarada case nothing happened, it’s just lingering. There should be a time-bound investigation,” he said.
“The one (Arpita Mukherjee) from whose house sums of money were recovered isn’t from TMC. We want stringent action against those who are linked to this matter. I am saying this in a hypothetical way that if Partha Chatterjee goes to BJP after two months then he will become a saint. Since he is in TMC, all of these things are happening,” he added.
The arrest of Partha Chatterjee followed Rs 21 crore in cash and jewellery worth above Rs 1 crore being recovered from the Kolkata residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of the former education minister.
The ED unearthed many disproportionate assets allegedly of Partha Chatterjee since his arrest, of which were three flats in West Bengal’s Diamond City.
The ED raided Arpita Mukherjee’s house in connection with an alleged teacher recruitment scam in West Bengal.
“The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of the said SSC scam,” the probe agency had said in a statement.
A five-time MLA, Chatterjee was appointed as the minister-in-charge of higher education and school education in 2014 and he held the portfolio till 2021.