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SSC Scam: After TMC Leaders Demand Sacking of Partha, Abhishek Calls Emergency Meeting. Will Party Take Action?

By: Kamalika Sengupta

News18.com

Last Updated: July 28, 2022, 13:51 IST

Kolkata, India

About Rs 28 crore was recovered by ED from Partha Chatterjee's aide Arpita Mukherjee's Belgharia flat, which was taken away in 20 trunks. Pic/News18

About Rs 28 crore was recovered by ED from Partha Chatterjee's aide Arpita Mukherjee's Belgharia flat, which was taken away in 20 trunks. Pic/News18

Thursday will see a West Bengal cabinet meeting, and Partha Chatterjee's fate as a minister could be decided there after a second cash haul during an ED raid at his aide Arpita Mukherjee's Belgharia flat where about Rs 28 crore was found

Trinamool Congress MP and the nephew of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek, has called an emergency disciplinary committee meeting at 5 pm on Thursday, in a bid to send a message that the ruling party does not condole corruption.

On Thursday morning Kunal Ghosh demanded removal of Partha Chatterjee through a tweet, hours after he asked the former education minister as to why he has not claimed innocence.

While the TMC has not issued a fresh statement, its general secretary Kunal Ghosh told News18, “Party high command is keeping an eye on this. I just want to say that nine years back when I was arrested, I used to say that a conspiracy had taken place. I was not allowed to speak but I used to shout. I have only one question: why is Partha Chatterjee not saying that he is not involved and is innocent?”

A second cash haul from West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee’s aide Arpita Mukherjee’s flat, this time one in Belgharia near Kolkata, has put the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress in a bind.

Last Friday, around Rs 22 crore was recovered from Mukherjee’s apartment in south Kolkata by the Enforcement Directorate. The amount unearthed on Wednesday’s ED raid was around Rs 28 crore, said sources, as the counting went on till about 4am on Thursday and the stash was taken away in 20 trunks. They added that cash was even recovered from the washroom.

Chatterjee is accused of irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and staff in state-sponsored and aided schools, being called the “SSC scam”. Trinamool MLA Manik Bhattacharya was also questioned by the ED in the matter. He left the agency’s office around midnight.

The TMC finds itself on the back foot and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has been quick to seize the opportunity.

State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar took to Twitter to attack Trinamool, calling the haul “tip of iceberg”.

Party national general secretary BL Santhosh took a dig at TMC chairperson and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Later, in a tweet, Ghosh sought Chatterjee’s expulsion, going so far as to say that he was ready to be removed by the TMC if his statement is considered wrong. “Partha Chatterjee should be removed from ministry and all party posts immediately. He should be expelled. If this statement considered wrong, party has every right to remove me from all posts. I shall continue as a soldier of @AITCofficial.”

Observers say it now appears that a significant section of the party wants action against the arrested leader.

Thursday will see a West Bengal cabinet meeting, and Partha Chatterjee’s fate as a minister could be decided there.

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first published:July 28, 2022, 07:30 IST
last updated:July 28, 2022, 13:51 IST