regular-article-logo Monday, 29 May 2023

After Kunal Ghosh, Partha Chatterjee’s finger at CPM, BJP

Those like Sujan Chakraborty, Dilipbabu, Suvendubabu, who have been making tall claims, they should look at themselves, says Chatterjee

Meghdeep Bhattacharyya And Arkamoy Datta Majumdar Calcutta Published 24.03.23, 03:43 AM
Partha Chatterjee after his arrest last year.

Partha Chatterjee after his arrest last year. File picture

Trinamul Congress’s estranged heavyweight Partha Chatterjee on Thursday levelled charges of corruption against senior CPM and BJP leaders, less than half an hour after the ruling party’s state general-secretary Kunal Ghosh raised a similar allegation in a tweet.

While the CBI was taking Chatterjee to court here around mid-day, he said: “Those like Sujan Chakraborty, Dilipbabu, Suvendubabu, who have been making tall claims, they should look at themselves.”


“What did they do in north Bengal? Go through CAG reports.... They lobbied everywhere because I said I cannot. I was not in charge of employment. Forget help, I would never be able to do anything illegal. Look at 2011-12, with regard to Suvendu Adhikari. What had he done with the DPSC (district primary school council)?” asked Chatterjee, who had been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in July last year in connection with alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers.

He had been suspended from Trinamul and dropped from the Mamata Banerjee cabinet following the arrest.

What Chatterjee said naming CPM central committee member Chakraborty, BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh and the BJP’s leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari — some of the fiercest critics of the ruling dispensation over the alleged graft — would have looked obscure but for the context of an 11.42am tweet by Trinamul state general-secretary Ghosh.

“The controversy over recruitment in education. Had Dilip Ghosh, Sujan Chakraborty, Suvendu Adhikari, Samik Bhattacharya, and some others recommended recruitments? Had they requested then education minister Partha Chatterjee? Let it be investigated,” Ghosh wrote in Bengali on the microblogging site.

Twenty-odd minutes later, Chatterjee — whose testy ties with Trinamul’s Ghosh are one of the party’s worst-kept secrets — levelled the same allegation, with the same names (barring that of BJP state chief spokesperson Bhattacharya).

“Central agencies ought to work impartially, without being unidirectional,” added Ghosh on Twitter.

The similarities prompted speculation in political circles over whether that was being spontaneously done by Chatterjee — more or less abandoned by his party since the arrest — to find a way back into the good books of the chief minister or Trinamul national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee or whether he sought clemency from his leadership by carrying out its instructions.

Adhikari alleged it was the latter. “This is a very poor screenplay.... Mamata Banerjee is directly linked to this. She has been passing on messages to Partha Chatterjee,” said the BJP’s Nandigram MLA.

“I know that Partha Chatterjee, his lawyer and (Presidency correctional home superintendent) Debasish Chakraborty had a meeting in his (Chakraborty’s) cabin on Wednesday evening. What Chatterjee said today (Thursday) can be linked to this meeting,” he added.

“Partha Chatterjee will not be able to produce one piece of documentary evidence that shows that I sent him recommendations for any job,” said the former heavyweight in Mamata’s cabinet.

BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh underscored the similarities in the statements and said he had not been in active politics before 2015.

“If he can prove that I have recommended anybody I know, or from my family, or the party, for jobs, then I will take his place in prison,” he said.

“He has lost his mind and is part of a conspiracy to involve (non-Trinamul) leaders. This will not help them,” he added.

CPM central committee member Chakraborty said: “I don’t even think he has said anything explosive. Nobody heeds what he has to say. People hurl shoes at him, abusing him for thievery. His party decided to throw its weight behind (Birbhum strongman) Anubrata Mandal, but discarded him.”

“Instead of these baseless allegations, they should have the matters properly investigated,” he added.

Trinamul’s Ghosh said there was nothing extraordinary in the similarities between his tweet and Chatterjee’s statement. “Both of us have stated facts. If somebody tweets that the sun rises in the east, and somebody else issues a statement saying the same thing later, is that extraordinary?” he asked.

Follow us on: