TMC leader Partha Chatterjee hospitalised hours after ED arrests him in teacher recruitment scam
He was the state education minister in 2018 when allegedly jobs were given to candidates in return for money.
West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee was hospitalised on Saturday evening, hours after the Enforcement Directorate arrested him in connection with the agency’s investigation into the alleged teacher recruitment scam in the state School Service Commission in 2018, PTI reported.
Chatterjee was admitted to the state-run SSKM Hospital in Kolkata after he complained of uneasiness.
“He is stable at the moment,” an unidentified official at the hospital said, according to PTI. “A team of doctors are keeping a close watch on his condition.”
Chatterjee, a senior Trinamool Congress leader, was arrested on Saturday after almost 24 hours of questioning by officials of the Enforcement Directorate. He was produced before a judge in the Bankshall court in Kolkata, which sent him to two-days custody of the central agency.
The 69-year-old was the state education minister in 2018 when allegedly jobs were given to candidates in return for money instead of deserving candidates who had qualified in the recruitment process.
Chatterjee is currently the secretary general of the Trinamool Congress and holds the commerce and industries ministry.
The Enforcement Directorate, which investigates financial crimes, also arrested Chatterjee’s aide Arpita Mukherjee, a day after the agency said it recovered about Rs 20 crore from her home. She was sent to one-day Enforcement Directorate custody on Sunday, ANI reported.
“The said amount is suspected to be proceeds of crime of the SSC scam,” the Enforcement Directorate had said. “More than 20 mobile phones have also been recovered from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, the purpose and use of which is being ascertained.”
The Enforcement Directorate inquiry was based on a first information report filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. On June 15, the Calcutta High Court had asked the investigation agency to look into alleged irregularities in the recruitment of Group C and Group D staff, assistant teachers of Classes 9 to 12, and primary teachers.
Trinamool Congress accuses BJP of conspiracy
Meanwhile, the Trinamool Congress alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was behind the arrest of Chatterjee.
“We believe the BJP is behind this play,” Trinamool leader Firhad Hakim said, according to NDTV. “Whoever has switched to BJP has been untouched and whoever has stayed back is being harassed.”
Hakim also said that the Trinamool Congress will take a call on the incident only after a judgement in the case comes from the court.
“We are closely watching the situation and we have all faith in the judiciary,” Hakim said. “After the judiciary comes out with its verdict, then only the Trinamool Congress will act.”