Tainted TMC leader Partha Chatterjee, who has been suspended from the party, stripped of all posts and dropped as a minister in the West Bengal government, has claimed that he “is a victim of conspiracy and is being framed.”
The 69-year-old leader, who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate, has told reporters that he has no role in the West Bengal teacher’s recruitment scam and has been framed as part of a conspiracy against him.
Partha said this while he was being 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.”
Reacting to his claim, state Trinamool Congress general secretary and party spokesman, Kunal Ghosh said that in such cases the natural reaction would have been — “I am innocent”. “However, if Partha Chatterjee really thinks that he is a victim of a conspiracy, he should prove that in the court,” Ghosh said.
BJP`s national vice president and the party MP, Dilip Ghosh said that it was strange that one of the main accused in the entire WBSSC conspiracy was crying and claiming that he was a victim of a conspiracy. “As of Arpita Mukherjee all I can say is that if she is really repentant, then she should clearly reveal to ED and CBI whatever she knows about this scam,” Ghosh said.
Sujan Chakraborty, CPI-M`s central committee member and the former leader of the Left legislative parties in the West Bengal Assembly, said the actual conspiracy was against the thousands of eligible candidates who were deprived to accommodate ineligible ones against the financial consideration.
Veteran Congress MP and the state party president, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that Partha Chatterjee`s conspiracy theory is an indirect admission that he is not alone in this entire scam. “This is just the trailer and the movie is yet to start,” he said.
Chatterjee, who was the industries and parliamentary affairs minister, had held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off. One of his close aides, Arpita Mukherjee, was also arrested by the ED after crores of rupees in cash were seized from her residences in parts of the city.
On Thursday evening, central agency officials raided a third apartment linked to Mukherjee in the city’s Chinar Park area.
As the flat was locked and the keys could not be traced, ED sleuths broke open its entrance door in the presence of central force officers.
Earlier, a raid was carried out in Mukherjee’s Belghoria area flat, where around Rs 28 crore unaccounted cash was apparently found stashed along with large quantities of gold and silver. The central agency had also reportedly seized over Rs 21 crore in cash from another flat belonging to Mukherjee in Tollygunge area.
The value of gold jewellery is still being ascertained, according to ED sources. The CBI, as directed by Calcutta High Court, is probing the alleged irregularities committed 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.