Mamata Banerjee To BJP After Minister’s Arrest

Mamata Banerjee said she does not support “corruption or any wrongdoing”.


Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today launched a vigorous attack on the BJP, questioning why her arrested minister Partha Chatterjee had to be taken to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in Bhubaneswar. This, she announced, is also an “insult” to the people of Bengal, which the BJP is attempting to take over after Maharashtra.

Calling SSKM, where Partha Chatterjee was admitted, the Number One hospital in the country, she said, “Why do you have to take him to a hospital which has the Central government’s touch? Why ESI hospital? Why Command Hospital? What is the intention? Is this not an insult to the people of Bengal? What do you think? Is the Centre innocent and the states are all thieves? You are there because of the states”.

Then came a warning to the BJP: “Maharashtra has not been able to fight this time. They say after Maharashtra it will be Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bengal. Try coming here. You will have to cross the Bay of Bengal. The crocodiles will bite you. And in the Sunderbans the Royal Bengal tiger will bite you. In North Bengal the elephants will roll over you”.

Ms Banerjee spoke on the matter after a buzz this morning that Partha Chatterjee’s calls to her after his arrest had all gone unanswered. It was seen as the Chief Minister’s attempt to distance herself from the minister, one of her top aides who is now battling corruption allegations.

Today, the Chief Minister said she does not support “corruption or any wrongdoing”. Then she said,  “BJP is wrong if it thinks it can break my party using agencies” and the truth “must come out, but within a time-frame”.

“I don’t spare anyone. If someone is a thief or a dacoit, TMC does not spare them. I have got my own people arrested. I don’t spare my MLAs and MPs and not even ministers. But if you try to throw ink on me even I can fling muck at you,” she said.

Partha Chatterjee was arrested on Saturday by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with an alleged money laundering case linked to the teacher recruitment scam.  

The arrest came after Rs 20 crore was recovered from his aide Arpita Mukherjee, who has also been arrested. Videos of the raid showed heaps on bank notes, apparently on the floor of Arpita Mukherjee’s house.