West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said the cabinet will be reshuffled on Wednesday to redistribute arrested minister Partha Chatterjee’s portfolios. CM Banerjee is set to bring in several new faces, including women leaders, who were given responsibilities of district organization of TMC. The state will get seven new districts.
Arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, who is at the centre of a multi-crore school job scam, on Sunday claimed that the money recovered during Enforcement Directorate (ED) raids does not belong to him, and only time will tell who all have “conspired” against him.
As he de-boarded a vehicle outside ESI Hospital at Joka, where he was taken for a medical check-up, Chatterjee, on being approached by reporters, said, “The money (recovered) is not mine.”
Asked further if anybody was conspiring against him, he said, “You will get to know when the time comes.” Later, on his exit from the hospital, Chatterjee reiterated that the money didn’t belong to him, and he “has never been involved in such dealings”.
Here are the updates in Bengal SSC scam case:
• “We will introduce four to five new faces in the Cabinet. The reshuffle will be carried out on Wednesday,” the chief minister said. Departments of Panchayat, Public Health Engineering, Consumer Affairs & Self Help Group are currently looked after by Banerjee.
• The following districts will be divided into separate organisational districts:
— Darjeeling into Darjeeling Hills and Darjeeling Plains
— Murshidabad into Jangipur and Beherampore-Murshidabad
— Nadia into Nadia North (Krishnanagar) and Nadia South (Ranaghat)
— North 24 Parganas into Dum Dum-Barrackpore, Barasat, Basirhat and Bongaon
— South 24 Parganas into Diamond Harbour-Jadavpur and Sunderban
— Howrah into Howrah Rural and Howrah Urban
— Hooghly into Hooghly-Sreerampore and Arambag
— East Midnapore into Tamluk and Kanthi
— West Midnapore into Midnapore and Ghatal
— Bankura into Bankura and Bishnupur
• CM Mamata Banerjee said the cabinet will be reshuffled on Wednesday at 4 PM to redistribute Partha Chatterjee’s arrest.
• The ‘Apa’ farmhouse at Taltor in Santiniketan, which was purchased by jailed Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his aide Arpita Mukherjee, has turned a tourist spot as several people visited the place and took selfies. The farmhouse, bought by the duo in a neighbourhood of Bolpur town of Birbhum district, approximately 152 km north of Kolkata, cost them Rs 20 lakh, an India Today report said.
• Nearly Rs 50 crore in cash along with gold, value of which is still being ascertained, were recovered from apartments linked to Arpita Mukherjee, one of Chatterjee’s close aides, besides documents of properties, as per officials of the ED, the agency that arrested him.
• Chatterjee had on Friday asserted that he was a victim of a conspiracy and expressed unhappiness over TMC’s decision to suspend him. His close aide, Mukherjee, has also been arrested by the ED. The TMC leadership has taken exception to his comments, contending that Chatterjee is himself responsible for his fate.
• “This decision (to suspend me) could influence an impartial probe,” he had said. About the move to remove him from the ministry, Chatterjee, once considered a close confidante of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, said, “Her decision is right.”
• Chatterjee, 69, was relieved of his duties as minister-in-charge of various departments and suspended from the TMC on Thursday. He was also removed from all party posts.
• During the day, a rally was taken out by the BJP in Narayangarh area of Paschim Medinipur, demanding the arrest of all TMC thieves. “If the money recovered doesn’t belong to Partha Chatterjee, then whose is it? He should say this, people of this state want to know who is the owner of this looted money. He should spill the beans,” BJP state president Sukanta Majumdar said.
• The CBI, as directed by 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 the recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission.
• The ED is looking into the money trail involved in the scam. Chatterjee had held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off.