Heaps of money with denominations of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 and bundles of cash in sealed envelopes were recovered from the flat of Partha Chatterjee’s aide Arpita Mukherjee during the ED raids. Kolkata (TIP)- Partha Chatterjee, arrested in the West Bengal SSC recruitment scam, has been removed as a state cabinet minister with immediate effect, stated an official order issued by the Mamata Banerjee government on Thursday, July 27. The decision was reportedly taken in a cabinet meeting amid demands for the expulsion of Chatterjee. Chief minister Mamata Banerjee took over the departments till a new council of ministers is announced. “I have removed Partha Chatterjee as a minister. My party takes strict action. There are many plannings behind it but I don’t want to go into details,” Banerjee said. A TMC disciplinary committee meeting, to be held at the party’s headquarters in Kolkata at 5 pm, has been convened by the party’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of Mamata Banerjee. Chatterjee, secretary-general of the TMC, held the portfolios of commerce & industry, parliamentary affairs, information technology and electronics, and public enterprises & industrial reconstruction in the state cabinet. The meeting was convened hours after TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh demanded Chatterjee be sacked from the cabinet and expelled from the party after nearly Rs50 crore in cash was recovered from properties linked to him.
“Partha Chatterjee should be removed from ministry and all party posts immediately. He should be expelled. If this statement is considered wrong, party has every right to remove me from all posts. I shall continue as a soldier of @AITCofficial (TMC),” Ghosh tweeted at 9.52 am. Following this, he told reporters that he has full faith in Mamata Banerjee and Abhishek Banerjee who, he thinks, will take an appropriate decision.
The chief minister recently said that if someone is found guilty, she would not spare that person, even if he is a minister. Nearly Rs 50 crore in cash, and gold, believed to be in kilograms, were recovered from apartments linked to Chatterjee’s close associate Arpita Mukherjee, besides documents of properties and foreign exchange, as per officials of the Enforcement Directorate, which arrested them. The CBI, as directed by the Calcutta High Court, is probing the alleged irregularities 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 (SSC). The ED is tracking the money trail in the scam. Chatterjee was the education minister when the alleged irregularities took place.