WB: Mamata Banerjee sacks minister Partha Chatterjee after ED raids
Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday sacked the minister Partha Chatterjee, who has been arrested in the SSC scam. Chatterjee, also the secretary-general of TMC, held the major portfolios including Commerce & Industry and Parliamentary Affairs in the state cabinet. However, the CM has decided to remove him following his involvement in multi-crore scam.
Why does this story matter?
Chatterjee, a senior TMC leader, and West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister, is the latest in a long line of opposition leaders apprehended by the ED. His detention was condemned by the TMC as a "ploy" to "harass" political opponents. The BJP, on the other hand, claimed that the TMC had "sponsored large-scale irregularities" in the selection of teachers at all levels.
How did CM Mamata Banerjee react?
"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 in her first reaction after sacking Chatterjee. Earlier, the chief minister had said that if someone is found guilty, she would not spare that person, even if he is a minister.
Model-turned-actor Arpita stashed Rs. 50 crore for Chatterjee
Chaterjee has been taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore teacher recruitment scam in the state. The ED has so far recovered Rs. 50 crore from the house of his alleged aide, a model-turned-actor, Arpita Mukherjee. MLA Manik Bhattacharya has also been summoned for questioning by the probe agency.
Both accused in ED custody till August 3
As per reports, both accused were arrested on July 23 after the ED found Rs. 21 crores in cash from Mukherjee's Tollygunge residence. The ED collected additional Rs. 29 crores from her second residence during an 18-hour operation on Wednesday. Mukherjee allegedly informed the ED that her home was utilized as a "mini-bank." Both accused will be held in jail until August 3.
Chatterjee charged for SSC jobs scam
To recall, Chatterjee was apprehended on Saturday following 27 hours of interrogation as part of an investigation into the multi-crore teacher recruiting scam Jobs were allegedly given in exchange for money, and the scam allegedly occurred throughout Chatterjee's stint as Education Minister. There have been allegations of anomalies in the hiring of teaching and non-teaching personnel at government schools.