School jobs scam: Partha denies cash haul link, draws TMC ire

Former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee on Sunday claimed that the money recovered from two flats of his associate Arpita Mukherjee in connection with an alleged scam in the school staff recruitment did not belong to him.

Questioned by mediapersons while being taken to ESI Hospital, Joka, in Kolkata for medical check-up, Chatterjee said, “It is not my money. I don’t have any money.”

Asked further if anybody was conspiring against him, he said: “You will get to know when the time comes.”

Chatterjee had on Friday asserted that he was a victim of a conspiracy and expressed unhappiness over the Trinamool Congress’ decision to suspend him. “This decision (to suspend me) could influence an impartial probe…,” he had said

On Sunday, Arpita too was taken to the same hospital for a health check-up as per the court’s order.
Coming down heavily on the former minister, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said he didn’t say anything when he had the opportunity to defend himself. “Now in the last couple of days, he is suddenly smelling a conspiracy, saying it is not his money. He has every right to submit documents and evidences in the court as an accused. Tomorrow, he may even say that he doesn’t know who Arpita Mukherjee is.”

BJP MLA and Leader of Opposition in Assembly Suvendu Adhikari accused Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee of being involved in the scam, claiming that the money recovered was linked to her.

“It is a joint venture of Banerjee and Chatterjee. Money belongs to Mamata and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee. Partha and Arpita Mukherjee were custodians of the money,” he alleged.

CPI(M) leader Sujan Chakraborty said Chatterjee should reveal the secrets behind the organised recruitment scam.

During the day, a rally was taken out by the BJP in Narayangarh area of Paschim Medinipur, demanding the arrest of all what they called “TMC thieves”.

Aprita’s driver Pranab Bhattacharya had told the media that she frequently visited Partha. The ED has also questioned him.

Pranab said his mobile phone had been confiscated.

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The central agency has allegedly found links between various accounts of Partha and Arpita Mukherjee.

The ED has claimed that Rs 8 crore was deposited in Arpita Mukherjee’s accounts linked to shell companies she allegedly controlled.

—With PTI Inputs

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