Yielding to demand from various quarters including some ruling party’s leaders, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sacked Partha Chatterjee from her Council of Ministers. He was Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Industry, Commerce, Information technology, electronics, public enterprises & industrial reconstruction. Earlier, he was Education Minister. He along with his aide Arpita Mukherjee is in ED custody till August 3. They are being grilled for involvement in the multi crore cash for jobs scam. The Enforcement Directorate which has under taken the investigation as directed by the Calcutta High Court has recovered over Rs 51 crore in cash, jewellery worth several crore and documents related to the scam from the residences of Arpita in Belgharia and Tollygunge. She has reportedly told the sleuths that her flat was used by Partha to keep money and she was not allowed to enter the room where the money was dumped. The former Minister and some others close to him frequented her flat. BJP, CPI (M), INC and other opposition parties have said CM Mamata Banerjee cannot get away faulting Partha alone for the massive fraud. She is equally accountable. Meanwhile, film star turned politician Mithun Chakravarty has created a controversy by saying the huge wealth recovered might not belong to the ex-Minister and his associate. They seemed to be custodians.
Bengal’s political circles do not rule out the possibility of nabbing some more influential people by the Enforcement Directorate. NDTV citing source reports, Arprita has told the ED that “Partha Chatterjee used to stash money at her home and treat it like a “mini-bank”. Her lawyers are likely to deny the claims of the ED in court at the next hearing. She had also claimed that the minister used to visit her home every week or every 10 days. “Partha used my house and that of another woman as a mini-bank. That other woman is also his close friend,” she reportedly told investigators, reported NDTV. BJP Vice President Dilip Ghosh told some news channels in Kolkata that senior TMC Parliamentarian Saugata Roy had an office in her Belgharia house. Meanwhile, Manik Bhattacharjee, TMC MLA, was quizzed by the probe agency in its Kolkata office .He has been summoned again tomorrow. He is former president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education. Meanwhile, Mithun Chakraborty, film star turned politician , has claimed 38 Trinamool Congress (TMC) MLAs are in touch with the BJP and of them , 21 legislators are directly in touch with him. “Do you want to hear breaking news? At this moment, 38 TMC MLAs are in touch with the BJP. Out of them, 21 are in direct touch with me. When I was in Mumbai, I read in newspapers one fine morning that the Shiv Sena and the BJP have formed the government in Maharashtra,” he said while addressing a presser in Kolkata. TMC leadership has rubbished his statement. TMC parliamentarian Dola Sen has tweeted “Actors & artists know how to see varied dreams. We’re common populace. We don’t see so many varied dreams. All the very best wishes to Mithun Chakraborty for all the dreams he’s been seeing”. Edited by PKC. Pic courtesy TOI