KOLKATA, July 31 (PTI): Arrested Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, who is at the centre of a multi-crore school jobs scam, on Sunday claimed that the money recovered during Enforcement Directorate raids does not belong to him, and time will tell who are “conspiring” against him.
As he deboarded a vehicle after being taken to ESI Hospital at Joka for a medical check-up, and was approached by reporters with questions regarding the scam, Chatterjee said, “The money (recovered) is not mine.”
Asked further if anybody was conspiring against him, he said: “You will get to know when the time comes.”
Chatterjee had on Friday asserted that he was a victim of a conspiracy and expressed unhappiness over the Trinamool Congress’ decision to suspend him.
“This decision (to suspend me) could influence an impartial probe…,” he had said.
About the move to remove him from the ministry, Chatterjee, once considered a close confidante of chief minister Mamata Banerjee, said, “Her (Banerjee’s) decision is right.”
Chatterjee, 69, was relieved of his duties as minister-in-charge of various departments and suspended from the TMC on Thursday. He was also removed from all party posts.
One of his close aides, Arpita Mukherjee, has also been arrested by the ED after crores of rupees in cash were seized from her residences in parts of the city.
The TMC leadership has taken exception to his comments, contending that Chatterjee was himself responsible for his fate.
“Why was he silent for the last few days after his arrest? He has every right to approach the court and prove his innocence. The party has nothing to do with this scam,” TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh had said on Thursday.
The CBI, as directed by Calcutta High Court, is probing the alleged irregularities 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.