KOLKATA: Amid the arrest and trips to court of former West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee, ex-TMC leader and the former General Secretary of West Bengal College and Universities Professors' Association (WBCUPA), Baisakhi Banerjee on Thursday made some big revelations and said people got a direct entry into educational institutions during Chatterjee's tenure.
"It was strange to see student leaders coming from an ordinary background becoming powerful and strong names in the education sector. There was a syndicate working inside the West Bengal College University Professors Association (WBCUPA) which added a price tag to the college university sub-post where every post was on sale. Those who could not teach even in school entered the university directly with Partha Chatterjee's push," Banerjee told ANI. She further stated that she confronted Partha Chatterjee about the situation but got only false reasons.
"Underqualified thieves were getting jobs because of Partho Chatterjee. He immediately took action and suspended a man who was accused of corruption and used to scold those people who were involved. After a few days, I understood that it is all a facade. After a few days, the same man was coming back into the education sector in a more powerful way and I understood that corruption will not end here and would worsen," she added. Banerjee said she did not have much knowledge about the school commission recruitment but if details about college and university recruitments come out, it could be an even bigger scam.
She also highlighted that it was Partha who got her into politics and said, "This is the saddest time for me right now because Partha Chatterjee brought me into politics by saying that there is a lot of corruption here, if someone comes from a good family like you, he/she will not come for money. More girls like you should come into politics. Believing this to be true, my political career started with his hands in 2016." She further alleged that Partha Chatterjee didn't consider anyone above himself.
"He didn't consider anyone above himself, not even Mamata Banerjee. He misused his position several times and completely controlled the education department. He indulged in corruption for himself," she added. She also highlighted that it was Partha who got her into politics and said," This is the saddest time for me right now because Partha Chatterjee brought me into politics by saying that there is a lot of corruption here, if someone comes from a good family like you, he/she will not come for money. More girls like you should come into politics. Believing this to be true, my political career started with his hands in 2016."
Earlier on August 3, a special Court in Kolkata extended the Enforcement Directorate (ED) custody of former West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee and his close aide, Arpita Mukherjee, by two days till August 5 in connection with the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam. The duo was produced before the court as their 10-day ED custody was coming to an end.
The ED unearthed many disproportionate assets of Partha Chatterjee since his arrest, among which were three flats in West Bengal's Diamond City. The ED sleuths have recovered around Rs 50 crore in cash, along with jewellery, from Mukherjee's two flats in southwest Kolkata and Belghoria.
The arrest of Partha Chatterjee followed Rs 21 crore in cash and jewellery worth above Rs 1 crore being recovered from the Kolkata residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of the former education minister. The Enforcement Directorate July 23 recovered over Rs 21 crore in cash from the house of an associate of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee.
The ED raided Arpita Mukerjee's house in connection with an alleged teacher recruitment scam. Earlier, Rs 20 crore was recovered from her residence in South Kolkata. ED officials also conducted a raid at the residence of businessman Manoj Jain in Ballygunge. Jain is reportedly an aide of state minister Partha Chatterjee.Trinamool Congress, which has distanced itself from Chatterjee, axed him as a minister and suspended him from the party leaving it solely to him to defend himself in the Enforcement Directorate probe.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also suspended Chatterjee from the party and removed him from all the party posts. Party leader Abhishek Banerjee told the media that Chatterjee has been suspended till the investigation is underway.
"Partha Chatterjee has been removed from TMC along with the post of General Secretary, National vice president and three other posts. He has been suspended till the investigation is underway," Banerjee said. However, Chatterjee has denied his involvement in the School Service Commission (SSC) scam and asserted that the "money does not belong to him"."When the time comes, you will know...the money does not belong to me," he told media persons.
Arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee - who is now suspended from the Trinamool Congress - and his aide Arpita Mukherjee have separately been claiming that they are "victim(s) of a conspiracy."