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Abhishek calls party meet at 5pm

'Sack Partha Chatterjee' cry from within Trinamul Congress

He should be removed from the ministry and all party posts immediately, says spokesperson Kunal Ghosh; ED reveals Rs 50 crore cash seized so far from minister's aide Arpita Mukherjee

Our Web Desk Calcutta Published 28.07.22, 10:29 AM
Partha Chatterjee

Partha Chatterjee File picture

  • Trinamul leader Abhishek Banerjee calls party meeting at 5pm
  • Trinamul spokesperson Kunal Ghosh deletes tweet on Partha, says he's doing so because party has taken up the matter
  • ED summons minister's secretary Sukanta Acharya, reports NDTV

West Bengal's industry minister Partha Chatterjee, arrested in the SSC scam, should be removed immediately from his post and expelled from the Trinamool Congress, the party's state general secretary Kunal Ghosh demanded on Thursday, airing what many feel is the dominant view within the Mamata Banerjee-led ruling party of Bengal.


Nearly Rs 50 crore in cash, and gold believed to be running into many kilograms were recovered from apartments linked to an aide of Chatterjee, besides documents of properties and foreign exchange, as per officials of the Enforcement Directorate which arrested him.

"Partha Chatterjee should be removed from ministry and all party posts immediately. He should be expelled. If this statement is considered wrong, the party has every right to remove me from all posts. I shall continue as a soldier of @AITCofficial (TMC)," Ghosh, also the party's spokesperson, tweeted.

Later, he said that he has full faith in Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. "I think they will take the appropriate decision," he said.

Ghosh's comment came amid the Opposition BJP and CPI(M)'s attack on the TMC government in the state for not taking any action against Chatterjee even as huge amounts of cash were recovered.

However, the chief minister has said that if someone is found guilty, she would not spare that person even if he is a minister.

Chatterjee, a powerful minister in the Mamata Banerjee government and the secretary-general of Trinamool Congress, was arrested on Saturday in the SSC scam.

The CBI, as directed by the Calcutta High Court, is probing the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Group-C and D staff as well as teachers in government-sponsored and aided schools on recommendations of the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC). The ED is tracking the money trail in the scam.

Chatterjee was the education minister when the alleged irregularities took place.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has recovered Rs 27.9 crore in cash, besides a huge amount of gold jewellery from an apartment of Partha Chatterjee's aide Arpita Mukherjee, officials said on Thursday morning,

During questioning, Mukherjee informed the ED about those properties, officials said. ED sleuths had to break open a door to get into the two flats in Belgharia's Rathtala locality as the keys to open them could not be spotted, they said. Several "vital" documents were also found in the flats during a search, the official said.

'Disgrace to party'

On Thursday, Trinamool Congress spokesperson Kunal Ghosh expressed the hope the party would take note of the public perception as the recovery of cash from the homes of Partha Chatterjee's aide had brought "disgrace" to the party and "shame to all of us".

"This development is a matter of great concern. Such incidents have brought disgrace to the party and shame to all of us. He (Partha Chatterjee) is saying why he would quit as minister. Why is he not saying in the public domain that he is innocent? What is stopping him from doing that? I hope the party would take note of the public perception and take appropriate steps," he said on Wednesday.

Earlier, Ghosh had said it has to be seen how Chatterjee sheds the tag of being "influential" without quitting as a minister of several departments.

'Why should I quit?'

Chatterjee, whom the Enforcement Directorate arrested in connection with a school jobs scam, earlier in the day countered repeated queries by the media on whether he would resign by retorting why he should do so. Chatterjee is now in the ED custody. He was approached by reporters outside a hospital where he was taken for a medical check-up before being interrogated by the central agency.

Reacting to his comments, Ghosh said, "He holds several portfolios as a cabinet minister. How he will shed the tag of being an influential person is for him to answer."

Chatterjee is the minister for commerce & industry, parliamentary affairs, information technology and electronics, public enterprises & industrial reconstruction.

Influential person

The ED has described him in the Calcutta High Court as an "influential person".

Hours after Chatterjee's arrest on July 23, Ghosh had told reporters that the party would not remove him as a cabinet minister or the secretary general of the TMC until he was proven guilty.

BJP national vice-president Dilip Ghosh, while reacting to huge cash recovered for the second day from a flat in Belgharia in North 24 Parganas district, demanded that Chatterjee should be immediately removed from the state cabinet.

'Sack him'

"Partha Chatterjee has brought disgrace to himself and the entire state. He must be immediately sacked. This incident proves the level of corruption in the TMC and the state government," Ghosh said.

Amid the growing Opposition demands for the removal of Chatterjee from the cabinet, his official car, used by him for over 15 years, was on Tuesday deposited in the state Assembly. The TMC's mouthpiece "Jago Bangla (Wake up, Bengal)" has stopped naming Chatterjee either as a minister or the party's secretary general. However, his name remains in the printer's line as its editor.

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