Actor-turned-politician Mithun Chakraborty, who had joined the BJP ahead of the West Bengal assembly elections last year, on Thursday advised Partha Chatterjee, who has been arrested by the ED in a school jobs scam, to reveal the identity of those who are involved in the case. As opposition pressure mounted, the Mamata Banerjee-led government today removed Chatterjee from the ministry with immediate effect.
Mithun asserted that he did not believe that Chatterjee owned all the seized money and he “must have been the custodian of the money which belonged to someone else”. “Why suffer in jail?” India Today quoted the actor as saying to Chatterjee.
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee held a press conference and announced that the party has “decided unanimously to remove Partha Chatterjee from all posts of the TMC”.
“Partha Chatterjee, minister in charge, department of industry, commerce and enterprises, department of information technology and electronics, department of parliamentary affairs, and department of public enterprises and industrial reconstruction, is hereby relieved of his duties as MIC of the aforesaid department with immediate effect,” an official order issued by the West Bengal government said. Mamata Banerjee said that she will look after the portfolios held by Chatterjee for the time being.
On the other hand, Mithun yesteday claimed that 38 TMC MLAs are in touch with the BJP and of these, 21 legislators are directly in touch with him. “Do you want to hear breaking news? At this moment, 38 TMC MLAs are in touch with the BJP. Out of these, 21 are in direct touch with me. When I was in Mumbai, I read in newspapers one fine morning that the Shiv Sena and the BJP have formed the government in Maharashtra,” he said while addressing a presser in Kolkata. He added that the BJP is in power in 18 states, and its flag will “fly high in a few other states very soon”.
For the unversed, the Enforcement Directorate arrested Chatterjee on July 23 in connection with its investigation into alleged irregularities in the recruitment drives by the School Service Commission (SSC). The central agency has also arrested Chatterjee’s close associate Arpita Mukherjee and seized crores of rupees from her houses in different parts of the city.