Money belongs to Partha Chatterjee, says aide as Mamata speaks tough on corruption | Top points


West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, arrested in connection with an alleged school jobs scam, was admitted to AIIMS Bhubaneswar on Monday amid chants of ‘chor, chor’ outside the hospital. However, AIIMS doctors ruled out the need for active health intervention.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which is probing the money trail in the alleged scam, prayed for 14-day custody of Chatterjee before a special court. The probe agency said the mountain of cash found at Chatterjee’s aide’s home belonged to the minister.

Here are the top points.

1) Partha Chatterjee was taken to Odisha in an air ambulance by the ED and admitted to AIIMS, Bhubaneswar as per direction of the Calcutta High Court. However, the hospital ruled out any major health complications. Chatterjee, who was the education minister when the alleged scam took place, was ‘greeted’ with ‘chor, chor’ chants outside the hospital. After check-up, a report was sent to the high court with details of Chatterjee’s health status.

2) Meanwhile, a special court which heard ED’s plea seeking 14-day custody of arrested TMC minister reserved order on the prayers. The ED, in its submission, said that Chatterjee had taken admission in Bengal government-run SSKM hospital “faking illness” and the agency could not question him during the two-day remand granted by a chief metropolitan magistrate on Saturday.

3) According to preliminary investigation, Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of Chatterjee, had been running at least 12 shell companies and documents supporting the existence of such companies were recovered from her residence in Kolkata.

READ | ‘Chor, chor’: Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee ‘greeted’ at AIIMS Bhubaneswar

4) On Monday, Arpita Mukherjee told ED officials that mountain of case amounting to Rs 21 crore recovered from her belonged to Partha Chatterjee. During her interrogation, the actor divulged that the plan was to move the piles of cash out of her house in a day or two. But the agency raids foiled the plan, she said.

5) West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee broke her silence over one of her most senior ministers’ arrest and said if proven guilty, he must be punished. She distanced herself from the alleged scam, saying she was hurt and could not believe he could do such a thing.

6) However, she slammed the Opposition for a “malicious campaign” launched against her and her party. Referring to the video shared by the BJP, in which she was seen interacting with Arpita Mukherjee from whose house Rs 22 crore in cash was found, the chief minister said the Trinamool Congress has no links with her.

“The party has no relation with that lady [Arpita Mukherjee] neither do I know her. I attend several programmes, if someone gets clicked with me, is it my fault?” she said.

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7) Mamata Banerjee further called for a time-bound probe into the alleged school jobs scam.

‘”If anyone has done wrong, prosecute him. But, do not touch me because I know how to fight back, for I have done nothing wrong. Take three months’ time, but get to the bottom of the SSC scam,” she said at an event.

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8) Meanwhile, the ED said that documents pertaining to candidates for recruitment to Class C and Class D services have also been recovered from Partha Chatterjee’s home.

Arpita Mukherjee, Chatterjee’s aide, was arrested following marathon questioning at her residence, where crores of rupees in cash and other valuables were allegedly recovered by sleuths of the central agency.

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