WBSSC Scam: Trinamool Congress Distances Itself From Partha Chatterjee

Kolkata: Crisis seems to be deepening for state minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee as the party leadership seems to be distancing itself from the issue of his arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials on Saturday in connection with West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam.

For the first two hours of the commerce & industries minister’s arrest from his residence in South Kolkata’s Naktala, there was no statement from the party. Finally at around 12.15 p.m, Trinamool Congress’s state general secretary and the party spokesman Kunal Ghosh came out with an extremely loaded statement denying any association of the party or the state government with the development especially with the issue of recovery of huge amount of cash from the residence of Chatterjee’s confidante and close aide Arpita Mukherjee.

“The onus is on the person or her counsel from whose residence the huge amount of cash has been recovered. The onus is also on those and their counsels whose names are surfacing in the case. Neither Trinamool Congress as a party nor the state government has any connection with the cash recovery by the ED. The party is keeping a close watch on the entire issues on why unnecessarily a campaign is going on involving the party. The party leadership will give the reaction at the right moment,” he said.

This is not the first time that Ghosh has made a loaded statement that caused embarrassment for Partha Chatterjee. Earlier, he commented that only Partha Chatterjee and not the current state education minister Bratya Basu was answerable for the WBSSC scam, since the alleged irregularities took place when Chatterjee was in charge of the state education department.

Political observers feel that Ghosh’s statements as a party spokesman after Chatterjee’s clear indication that the party leadership has clearly started distancing itself from the entire issue.

Meanwhile, the ED has come across more treasures from the posh residence of Arpita Mukherjee at Diamond Park housing complex in south Kolkata. As per ED estimates, besides Rs 21.20 crore in cash, gold ornaments of estimated market value of Rs 89 lakhs, foreign currency of value of Rs 54 lakhs and sale deeds of eight flats have been recovered so far from her residence.

“So far, we have just detained Arpita Mukherjee. But she is in a total non-cooperation mood. If necessary, we might arrest her as well and interrogate taking her in our custody. Meanwhile, we have also detained Partha Chatterjee’s personal assistant, Sukanta Acharya,” an ED official said.