scorecardresearch
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022

Bengal school recruitment scam: Victim of conspiracy, says Partha Chatterjee; ED raids another flat linked to Arpita Mukherjee

CM Mamata Banerjee has hit out at the media for allegedly launching a “malicious campaign” against the TMC.

By: Express Web Desk
Kolkata | Updated: July 30, 2022 10:42:17 pm
Partha Chatterjee was stripped of all posts in the TMC and relieved of ministerial duties. (Express Photo)

Bengal school recruitment scam live updates (July 29): A day after he was stripped of all posts in the TMC and relieved of ministerial duties, following his arrest in connection with a school recruitment scam, Partha Chatterjee on Friday said that he was a victim of a conspiracy hatched against him. The 69-year-old leader, who is under the custody of the Enforcement Directorate, was taken to ESI hospital at Joka on the southern outskirts of the city for a medical-check up during the day. As he deboarded a vehicle and was approached by reporters, Chatterjee said he was just a “victim of a conspiracy”, news agency PTI reported.

Meanwhile, ED on Thursday conducted searches at four more places in Kolkata and adjoining areas. Till late night, the searches were underway at Club Town Heights and Kishorepally in Belgharia, Royal Residency in Rajarhat and Eden Residency in Nayabad. According to ED sources, there are few more properties and flats allegedly in the name of Aprita Mukherjee that are under the scanner.

Earlier on Wednesday, CM Mamata Banerjee had hit out at the media for allegedly launching a “malicious campaign” against the TMC. “The Chief Justice of India recently pointed out that the media is playing the role of kangaroo courts. They [a section of the media] don’t want any development to happen in Bengal and only want to defame our state,” she said.

Live Blog

Bengal school recruitment scam: CM Mamata Banerjee sacks Partha Chatterjee; ED searches 4 more locations. Follow this space for all latest news and updates

16:05 (IST)30 Jul 2022
Major Bengal cabinet, TMC organisational reshuffle in offing

The TMC is likely to go in for a major organisational overhaul as well as a reshuffle of the state cabinet following the arrest of now-suspended senior party leader Partha Chatterjee in a multi-crore school jobs scam.

Sources said the reshuffle will also aim at an image makeover for the party hit by school jobs scam probe.

Chatterjee, the former virtual number two both in the TMC and the government, was stripped of all ministerial responsibilities and suspended from the party following his arrest last week and the recovery of around Rs 50 crore from flats of his associate Arpita Mukherjee. --PTI

21:40 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Raids and a long arc: ‘Crores’ in Bengal, just one among many

On Thursday, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) claimed to have seized cash worth Rs 27.90 crore and around 6 kg of gold from a flat belonging to former actor Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee, who is under arrest for a school jobs scam. Speaking to The Indian Express, an ED official said the “counting went on for several hours”.

The seizure, the ED said, included cash worth Rs 27.9 crore (Rs 2,000 notes packed into bundles of Rs 50 lakh each, and Rs 500 notes packed into bundles of Rs 20 lakh each), gold and jewellery worth Rs 4.31 crore (3 gold bricks of 1 kg each, 6 bangles of 500 gram each among other jewellery and one gold pen). Read more

21:11 (IST)29 Jul 2022
In Partha Chatterjee’s eclipse, the rising sun of Abhishek Banerjee

Dropping of Partha Chaterjee as Cabinet minister, stripping of all government and party portfolios from him, and his suspension, all within nine days of his arrest in a school recruitment scam. The speed and unprecedented nature of the Trinamool Congress’s action against one of its topmost leaders has the fingerprints of Abhishek Banerjee all over it.

The TMC’s all-India general secretary and fast-rising star, Abhishek has been biding his time in the wings, mindful of aunt Mamata Banerjee’s old guard. But the embarrassment of Chatterjee’s arrest and the alleged crores pouring out of premises linked to him, coming on top of other setbacks to the TMC, have cleared an opening for him to move in. Read more

14:55 (IST)29 Jul 2022
I am a victim of conspiracy, says Partha Chatterjee

A day after he was stripped of all posts in the TMC and relieved of ministerial duties, following his arrest in connection with a school recruitment scam, Partha Chatterjee on Friday said that he was a victim of a conspiracy hatched against him. The 69-year-old leader, who is under the custody of the Enforcement Directorate, was taken to ESI hospital at Joka on the southern outskirts of the city for a medical-check up during the day. As he deboarded a vehicle and was approached by reporters, Chatterjee said he was just a “victim of a conspiracy”, news agency PTI reported.

11:10 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Series of petitions & protests helped flag irregularites

The sacking of state minister Partha Chatterjee in connection with the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam on Thursday is the latest development in an issue that surfaced in 2014 and, more recently, has seen nearly 500 days of sustained protests from candidates who claim that they have not got jobs despite having cleared the relevant examinations.

Apart from the Primary Teacher Eligibility Test (TET), allegations of irregularities have been made regarding recruitment of schoolteachers, even in Group C and Group D employee categories.

It was in 2014 that a notification for appointment of teachers in state-run schools in West Bengal through SLST (State Level Selection Test) for teachers was published and the recruitment process started in 2016.

However, a series of petitions were filed in the Calcutta High Court alleging “anomalies” in the recruitment process. The petitioners alleged that many candidates who got low marks ranked high in the merit list. There were also allegations that some applicants who weren’t even in the merit list received appointment letters. Read more

11:06 (IST)29 Jul 2022
After Partha, Arpita, ED net on TMC MLA; ex-college principal who headed school board

After the arrest of West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide Arpita Mukherjee, the Enforcement Directorate has summoned Trinamool Congress MLA Manik Bhattacharya in the probe into illegal recruitment of teachers.

Ordered to step down as president of the West Bengal Board of Primary Education by the High Court, Bhattarcharya retired in 2014 as principal of Jogesh Chandra Chaudhuri Law College and was appointed the head of the board soon after. A long-time TMC member, he won from Palashipara in Nadia district in the 2021 Assembly election. He lost from the constituency 10 years earlier.

The ED is probing money laundering charges in the alleged scam in recruitments conducted by the West Bengal School Service Commission and West Bengal Primary Education Board, as part of which it also carried out search operations at houses of Partha Chatterjee, one of the most powerful ministers in the state, holding several portfolios, and a former education minister, as well as of his aide Mukherjee. Read more here

10:39 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Opinion: Arrest of a minister, a lesson for Mamata Banerjee

"The scandal around Partha Chatterjee’s arrest by the ED, the unseemly statements by his aide Arpita Mukherjee are unlikely to endear the TMC to the people of Bengal, let alone the rest of India.

Unfortunately, this latest episode is not a one-off. The Sharada and Narada scams, and the overwhelming presence of the TMC-backed “syndicate” (the CPM leadership did not have a reputation for indulging in financial corruption) in the state’s economic and political life are not features that inspire confidence.

Unlike Nitish Kumar, or even Arvind Kejriwal’s “Delhi model”, Mamata Banerjee does not have a governance story to sell to the rest of the country.

That is not to say that Banerjee and the TMC cannot overcome their shortcomings. To do so would require, first and foremost, cleaning house internally (Banerjee has the political mandate and power within her party to do so) and living up to the moral high ground it takes vis a vis the Centre.

On the national stage, the TMC needs to display that it has the political maturity and ideological vision to hold together disparate forces. Banerjee, for her part, needs to show the same single-mindedness she did before she became CM to be more than just a regional satrap." Read more here

10:33 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Candidates say graft in college recruitment also

Members of the Empaneled Candidates Organization (ECO) for West Bengal College Service Commission, 2018 submitted a deputation against alleged irregularities in the recruitment process of professors, on Wednesday at Bikash Bhawan  in Kolkata.

Secretary of ECO for CSC 2018 Binay Krishan Pal said, “We have submitted a deputation today to Higher Education Minister Bratya Basu along with evidence of corruption,” said Pal.  In a press release issued by the organization, the candidates claimed, “The irregularities in the WBCSC recruitment process are tied to the School Service Commission and Primary TET scam.” Read more

More from Cities
Mumbai: Now, get ‘report card’ of your corporator on your mobile screens
Framing of charges would get hit: Court while denying Varavara plea to tr...
AIMIM releases first list of 3 candidates for polls
Modi songs to reverberate at garba venues ahead of polls
Sena MLA’s car ‘attacked’, 10 Shiv Sainiks arrested
09:54 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Rise and fall of Arpita Mukherjee: Small-time actor who became part of Trinamool’s charmed circles

Those who have known her say Arpita Mukherjee more than made up for the slow pace of Dewanpara, a small neighbourhood in Belgharia on the outskirts of Kolkata where she grew up – she moved into the world of glamour and modelling, before acting in a few films and finally, got a toehold in politics, as the “aide” of senior minister Partha Chatterjee. In the 2021 Assembly polls, Arpita campaigned for at least three candidates of the Trinamool Congress.

“She was into singing and modelling. Then she acted in few Bengali and Odia films. She doesn’t stay here anymore,” said Arpita’s mother Minati at the family’s two-storied house in Dewanpara.

According to sources in the Trinamool Congress, it was around 2017 that Arpita became part of the party’s celebrity brigade. As part of an attempt to widen the party’s electoral appeal, Mamata Banerjee has roped in several celebrities over the years, from established stars such as Chiranjeet Chakraborty and Dev Adhikary to relatively newer faces Nusrat Jahan and Mimi Chakraborty. Though Arpita was never a known face in Bengal’s film industry, there were enough events patronised by politicians and celebrities where she found a platform. Read more here

09:49 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Left parties protest: CPM says recovered money ‘tip of iceberg’

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) along with other Left parties took to streets in Kolkata on Wednesday to protest against the alleged irregularities in the recruitment process of school teachers in the state.

CPI(M) leaders started marching from three locations – Howrah, Park Circus and  Sealdah – and later met at Esplanade to stage a dharna. They were joined by leaders of other Left parties Speaking during the rally, CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said, “The people of Bengal are not fools. They will not believe that CM Mamata Banerjee didn’t know anything about the huge  sums of money recovered from the house of Partha Chatterjee’s aide.”

CPM State Secretary Mohammad Salim said, “The recovered money is just the tip of the iceberg. This amount of money is being found even after thousands were smuggled out of the country. This money is actually looted and was taken from helpless job-seekers, sometimes by extortion.” Read more

09:33 (IST)29 Jul 2022
ED raids another flat linked to Arpita Mukherjee

The Enforce Directorate raided yet another apartment linked to Arpita Mukherjee, the close associate of arrested West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, in Kolkata's Chinar Park area after recovering around Rs 28 crore cash from another flat belonging to her.


The raid by the ED, which is probing the money trail of the school jobs scam, was conducted late Thursday evening, an ED official said.


As the door of the flat was locked and the keys could not be traced, the ED sleuths broke it open in the presence of central force officers. "This (Chinar Park) apartment belongs to Arpita Mukherjee and we suspect that like her other flats cash may be stacked here as well," the ED official said.


"We are talking to the neighbours and trying to find out what kind of activities were carried out here," he added.


The details of the Chinar Park flat was provided by Mukherjee herself during interrogation by the ED earlier in the day. In the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday ED sleuths had raided a flat belonging to Mukherjee in Belghoria area of the city and recovered around Rs 28 crore unaccounted cash besides large quantities of gold and silver.


The central agency had seized over Rs 21 crore cash from another flat belonging to Mukherjee in Tollygunj area. The value of the gold jewellery, believed to weigh several kilograms, is still being ascertained. (PTI)

09:19 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Malicious campaign by media against TMC, says CM Mamata Banerjee

Days after West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee was arrested by the ED in connection with the school recruitment scam, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hit out at the media for allegedly launching a “malicious campaign” against the TMC.

She was addressing a function organised by a private firm, Titagarh Wagons, at Uttarpara in Hooghly district. Mamata lashed out at a section of the media for allegedly “trying to act like courts” and “pronounce judgments even before a person is legally proven guilty.”

“The Chief Justice of India recently pointed out that the media is playing the role of kangaroo courts. They [a section of the media] don’t want any development to happen in Bengal and only want to defame our state,” she said. Read more here

09:16 (IST)29 Jul 2022
ED searches 4 more locations in Kolkata and adjoining areas

A day after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) seized Rs 27.9 crore in cash and gold jewellery worth Rs 4.31 crore from an apartment in Kolkata allegedly linked to Arpita Mukherjee, the associate of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee who has been arrested in connection with a school recruitment scam, the central agency conducted searches at four more places in the city and adjoining areas.

Till late Thursday night, the searches were underway at Club Town Heights and Kishorepally in Belgharia, Royal Residency in Rajarhat and Eden Residency in Nayabad.

According to ED sources, there are few more properties and flats allegedly in the name of Aprita Mukherjee that are under the scanner. Read more here

09:15 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Mamata Banerjee sacks minister Partha Chatterjee after cash haul at his aide’s residence

Five days after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its investigation into the alleged school jobs scam in West Bengal amid recovery of crores in currency notes from his associate, Partha Chatterjee was removed from his ministries as well as all party posts Thursday. The Trinamool Congress (TMC) also announced his suspension from the party.

Chatterjee was State Education Minister when the alleged scam took place. He currently held various portfolios in the ministry, including Industry and Commerce.

“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 minister in charge of the aforesaid departments with effect from July 28,” said an official order issued by state Chief Secretary Hari Krishna Dwivedi. Read the full report here

09:14 (IST)29 Jul 2022
Bengal school recruitment scam live updates

Hi!

Stay tuned as we bring you live updates of the West Bengal school recruitment scam.

Mamata’s trusted lieutenant Partha Chatterjee, Bengal minister who is in eye of SSC scam storm

West Bengal commerce and industry minister and senior Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader, Partha Chatterjee, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Saturday for his alleged involvement in the teacher recruitment scam in the state School Service Commission (SSC), has been one of the most trusted lieutenants of Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee.

Apart from being a heavyweight minister handling various key portfolios, Chatterjee is also the TMC secretary general — the most important party role after the position of party chief Mamata Banerjee and her nephew and party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.

One of the most prominent TMC faces in Kolkata, the five-time MLA from the city’s Behala Paschim Assembly constituency, Chatterjee, 69, has been Mamata’s “go to” leader when it comes to dealing with the Bengal organisational affairs. From the constitution of the TMC district committees to working out election strategies, Chatterjee plays an important role in the entire spectrum of organisational matters. He is also a member of the party’s disciplinary committee.

Chatterjee had worked as an HR professional with Andrew Yule before foraying into politics several decades ago. After Mamata quit the Congress and formed the TMC in 1998, he joined her party. On the TMC ticket he was elected as an MLA for the first time in 2001 from Behala Paschim and has been continuously winning from the seat since then. He was the Leader of the Opposition in the Bengal Assembly from 2006 to 2011 during the tenure of the erstwhile CPM-led Left Front government.

  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
First published on: 29-07-2022 at 09:06:36 am
Latest Comment
Post Comment
Read Comments