Meet Arpita who stashed Rs. 50 crore for Partha Chatterjee
In a shocking series of events, West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee was taken into custody by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore teacher recruitment scam. The ED has so far recovered Rs. 50 crore from the house of his alleged aide, a model-turned-actor, and summoned MLA Manik Bhattacharya for questioning. Know more about the roles of Chatterjee's aides.
- Senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and West Bengal Commerce and Industries Minister, Chatterjee's arrest comes as the latest in a string of Opposition leaders being prowled by the ED.
- The TMC denounced his arrest as a "ploy" to "harass" political opponents.
- The Bharatiya Janata Party BJP, however, said that the TMC had "supported large-scale abnormalities" in the appointment of teachers at all school levels.
The ED, over two raids at Arpita Mukherjee's homes in Tollygunge and North 24 Parganas districts, managed to recover Rs. 50 crore cash and 5 kg gold. Now placed under ED custody, Mukherjee is reportedly a regional actor who has done minor roles in Bengali, Odia, and Tamil Films. Over a 10-year-long relationship, her home was used as a "mini-bank," as per reports.
Local media reports say that she met Chatterjee through the 'Naktala Udayan Sangha' Durga Puja committee 10 years ago. The committee was headed by the Bengal minister. She had recently become the face of the committee and featured on multiple committee posters. In 2020, she even shared the stage with Chatterjee and CM Mamata Banerjee, a viral video shared by BJP leaders shows.
"চিনি না, জানি না।"— Suvendu Adhikari • শুভেন্দু অধিকারী (@SuvenduWB) July 23, 2022
"দলের কেউ না।"
"দল এর দায় নেবে না।"
Trying hard to wash off the stain, but ziddi DAAG hain, itni asani se dhulega nahi:- pic.twitter.com/q4CgXt0f8I
After an eight-hour-long raid at his house last Saturday, the ED summoned TMC MLA from Palshipara, Bhattacharya, for questioning. He has been the president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education. The Calcutta HC found him guilty of the illegal appointment of 269 teachers in primary schools aided or headed by the TMC government and asked him to step down from the post.
Both the accused were taken into ED custody on July 23, after the agency recovered Rs. 21 crore in cash from Mukherjee's Tollygunge home. In an 18-hour long raid on Wednesday, the ED recovered another Rs. 29 crore from her second home. Mukherjee reportedly told ED that her house was used as a 'mini-bank'. Both the accused will be in custody till August 3.
To recall, Chatterjee was arrested on Saturday after 27 hours of questioning as part of a probe into the multi-crore teacher recruitment scam. Jobs were offered in lieu of money, and the scam reportedly took place during Chatterjee's tenure as the Education Minister. There have been reports of alleged irregularities in appointing teaching and non-teaching staff in government schools.