I am a victim of conspiracy: Partha Chatterjee

A day after he was stripped of all posts in the TMC and relieved of ministerial duties, following his arrest in connection with a school recruitment scam, Partha Chatterjee on Friday said that he was a victim of a conspiracy hatched against him.

The 69-year-old leader, who is in the custody of Enforcement Directorate, was taken to ESI hospital at Joka on the southern outskirts of the city for a medical-check up during the day.

As he deboarded a vehicle and was approached by reporters, Chatterjee said he was just a “victim of a conspiracy”.

Chatterjee, who was the industries and parliamentary affairs minister, had held the education portfolio when the scam was allegedly pulled off. One of his close aides, Arpita Mukherjee, was also arrested by the ED after crores of rupees in cash were seized from her residences in parts of the city.

On Thursday evening, central agency officials had raided a third apartment linked to Mukherjee in the city’s Chinar Park area.

As the flat was locked and the keys could not be traced, ED sleuths broke open its entrance door in the presence of central force officers.

Earlier, a raid was carried out in Mukherjee’s Belghoria area flat, where around Rs 28 crore unaccounted cash was apparently found stashed along with large quantities of gold and silver.

The central agency had also reportedly seized over Rs 21 crore in cash from another flat belonging to Mukherjee in Tollygunge area.

The value of gold jewellery is still being ascertained, according to ED sources.

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

The ED is looking into the money trail involved in the scam.

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Roy Walsh

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