Nearly Rs 29 crore in cash and 5 kilograms of gold were seized from a flat in Kolkata owned by Arpita Mukherjee, an aide of jailed West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, Enforcement Directorate officials told ABP Ananda on Thursday morning.

Chatterjee and Mukherjee were arrested on July 23 in connection with the central agency’s investigation into the alleged teacher recruitment scam in the West Bengal School Service Commission in 2018.

They have been remanded in the agency’s custody till August 3.

On July 22, the Enforcement Directorate had recovered more than Rs 20 crore from another Kolkata flat linked to Mukherjee.

The stash recovered on Wednesday was kept in a flat in Club Town Heights, an apartment complex in the city’s Belgharia locality, The Indian Express reported, citing Enforcement Directorate officials.

“We have recovered a huge amount of money from one of the flats in a housing complex,” an unidentified official of the agency said. “We brought three note-counting machines to get the exact amount. Besides cash, gold bars, jewellery and other documents have also been recovered.”

Officials said that Mukherjee told them about the Belgharia flat during her questioning. She reportedly told the investigators that the money was kickback from the state’s teacher recruitment scam, according to NDTV.

“Partha used my house and that of another woman as a mini-bank,” Mukherjee said. “The other woman is also his close friend.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that Chatterjee be sacked from the state Cabinet.

“They have looted money and denied jobs to genuine candidates,” BJP National Vice President Dilip Ghosh said, according to The Indian Express. “The culprits must be punished.”

The Trinamool Congress said that if found guilty, the persons involved in the case must be brought to justice.

“There is no word to condemn such a crime,” the party’s state General Secretary Kunal Ghosh said. “The party will not defend anyone who is involved in this.”

Case against Partha Chatterjee

Chatterjee, a senior Trinamool Congress leader, was arrested on July 23 after almost 24 hours of questioning by officials of the Enforcement Directorate.

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.

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.

“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.

The Trinamool Congress alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party was behind the arrest of Chatterjee.