Former Trinamool Congress heavyweight Partha Chatterjee on Sunday said that the cash seized by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the School Service Commission ( SSC) recruitment scam from the properties of his aide was not his money.
“Not my money,” Mr. Chatterjee repeated several times, while being taken for medical examination at a health facility at Joka in south Kolkata.
To repeated questions about his arrest, and the party’s decision to relieve suspend him and relieve him of ministerial duties, he said, “Only time will tell”.
Only two days earlier, the former Minister had said that he was victim of a conspiracy.
The remarks by the Minister triggered a fresh war of words with the Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari, who alleged that the money recovered by the ED was “ Trinamool Congress’s money” and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was well aware of everything related to it.
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh raised questions on why Mr. Chatterjee was making such comments more than a week after his arrest.
The party, on its part, has said that the onus on explaining the source of the money seized lies with Mr. Chatterjee.
Nearly ₹50 crore and several kilograms of gold were seized by the ED from two properties of Arpita Mukherjee, an associate of Mr. Chatterjee, in separate raids on July 22 and July 28 . The 69-year-old politician was arrested on July 23; five days later, he was stripped off his ministerial and party responsibilities.
The ED is investigating the SSC recruitment scam where jobs in State-run schools were allegedly given away based on financial and monetary considerations. Both the Minister and his aide have been remanded to ED custody till August 3.