Following the arrest of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case, Trinamool Congress accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of using probe agencies for political vendetta. The party also said that it will take action against the minister if he is proven guilty.
Mr Chatterjee and his aide were today arrested in a case linked to the alleged teacher recruitment scam in the state. The arrest comes hours after Rs 20 crore was recovered from minister’s aide Arpita Mukherjee.
“We are closely watching the situation and we have all faith in the judiciary. After the judiciary gives its verdict, we will be able to make a decision. The All India Trinamool Congress will not tolerate any malpractice in the party or government. After the judiciary comes out with its verdict, then only the Trinamool Congress will act. We believe the BJP is behind the play. Whoever has switched to BJP has been untouched and whoever has stayed back is being harassed,” Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim said.
Mr Chatterjee, 69, who presently holds the industry and state parliamentary affairs portfolios of the Mamata Banerjee government, was the education minister from 2014 to 2021, during which the alleged irregularities in teacher recruitment occurred. He was arrested by the ED after around 26 hours of grilling at his residence since Friday morning in connection with its probe into the alleged school jobs scam.
The CBI, as directed by the Calcutta High Court, is looking into the alleged irregularities committed in the recruitment of Group-C and D staff as well as teachers in government-sponsored and aided schools on recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission. The ED is tracking the money trail in the scam.
The ED on Friday carried out simultaneous raids at the houses of around a dozen people, including two ministers, in connection with its investigation into the teacher recruitment scam in West Bengal and seized around Rs 20 crore in cash, said sources in the agency.
He was later produced before a judge in the Bankshall court in Kolkata and sent to ED custody for two days.
The TMC, which maintained a stoic silence on the issue, before the press conference called an emergency meeting at TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee’s office to decide on the party’s stand on the issue.
With inputs from PTI