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West Bengal school jobs scam | Victim of a conspiracy, says Partha Chatterjee

Former Bengal Minister Partha Chattterjee is taken to a hospital in Kolkata for a check-up on July 29, 2022.

Former Bengal Minister Partha Chattterjee is taken to a hospital in Kolkata for a check-up on July 29, 2022. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri

A day after he was relieved of his ministerial and party responsibilities, former Trinamool Congress (TMC) heavyweight Partha Chatterjee on Friday said that he was a victim of a conspiracy.

Mr. Chatterjee, who remains in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), made these remarks while being taken to the ESI Hospital at Joka for a checkup. The former West Bengal Industry and Commerce Minister and TMC secretary general also questioned the timing of the party’s decision to strip him of all responsibilities. “The timing was not right. It may influence an impartial investigation,” Mr. Chatterjee told mediapersons. Asked whether the decision of Chief Minister and party chairperson Mamata Banerjee to remove him from all positions was correct, he said “time will tell”.

Mr. Chatterjee was arrested by the ED on July 23 after the agency recovered huge cash from the residence of Arpita Mukherjee, one of his associates. So far, cash valued at more than ₹50 crore and several kilograms of gold have been recovered from Ms. Mukherjee’s residence. The ED was looking into money laundering in connection with School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam which involved irregularities in recruitment of State-run schools where jobs were handed out for monetary and political considerations. The ED officials on Friday continued with their raidsacross properties of Ms. Mukherjee.Both the former Minister and his aide will remain in ED custody till August 3.

The TMC leadership also reacted to Mr. Chatterjee’s remarks.“Yesterday [Thursday] evening, the government and the party let their decisions be known. What was now left was this allegation of conspiracy etc. It is generally expected that if someone is a victim of conspiracy, he will protest right from the beginning..,” Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said. Political parties in the Opposition also reacted to the comments and said that the former TMC leader should name the people involved in the conspiracy.

TMC leadership meets SSC job seekers

During the day, Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee met job-seekers in State-run schools who have been protesting against the SSC recruitment scam at his office in Kolkata. The representatives who met Mr. Banerjee said that they were assured that recruitment of teachers in Class IX and Class X will be held soon. The matter is pending before the Calcutta High Court. During the day, another section of job-seekers held a demonstration outside the office of Mr. Banerjee seeking an audience with him.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2022 12:13:29 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/west-bengal-school-jobs-scam-i-am-a-victim-of-conspiracy-says-former-minister-partha-chatterjee/article65697851.ece