Breaking her silence on the arrest of Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee in the teacher recruitment scam, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she doesn’t support “corruption or any wrongdoing”. Banerjee, however, said the “truth must come out but within a time frame” even as she condemned the “malicious campaign” against her, PTI reported.
“I don’t support corruption or any wrongdoing. If anyone is found guilty, he or she must be punished, but I condemn malicious campaign against me,” Banerjee said. The TMC supremo further said that BJP was wrong to think it could “break my party using agencies”.
“A verdict should be given based on the truth, within a given time frame. If someone is found guilty, I do not mind if they are punished with life imprisonment. If someone has been involved in wrong activities, none of us will interfere no matter how harsh a verdict they face. We will not support them,” the TMC supremo further said.
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Bengal industries minister Partha Chatterjee, 69, was arrested on July 23 by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with its investigation into the irregularities in the recruitment drives by the School Service Commission (SSC).
Chatterjee was the Bengal education minister from 2014 to 2021 during which the alleged irregularities in teacher recruitment occurred. The ED also seized around Rs 20 crore in cash from the house of Arpita Mukherjee, a close associate of Partha Chatterjee.
Referring to a video shared by the BJP in which she was seen interacting with Arpita Mukherjee, Mamata Banerjee said neither the government nor the party had any links with her.
“I had visited a Durga Puja pandal to inaugurate it. Apparently, a woman was present there. I heard she is Partha’s (Chatterjee) friend. Am I God to know who is friends with whom? Banerjee said.
The minister was remanded to two-day ED custody by a court on Saturday. In the evening, Chatterjee was admitted to state-run SSKM Hospital after he complained of uneasiness. However, the Calcutta High Court directed the ED to take him to AIIMS-Bhubaneswar by an air ambulance.
On Monday, doctors at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar said the minister suffered from chronic diseases but does not need immediate hospitalisation.
“We have conducted a thorough screening (of Chatterjee). He has some chronic diseases, but does not need immediate hospitalisation,” PTI quoted AIIMS executive director Ashutosh Biswas as saying.