Business Standard

Arrested TMC leader Partha Chatterjee removed from all party posts

Abhishek Banerjee, following a meeting of the party's disciplinary committee, also said that doors of TMC would be opened for Chatterjee only if he is proven innocent.

Partha Chatterjee

Arrested TMC leader Partha Chatterjee

Press Trust of India Kolkata
Arrested TMC leader Partha Chatterjee has been removed from all organisational posts and will remain suspended from the party till the time the investigation into a school recruitment scam is underway, senior leader Abhishek Banerjee said.

Banerjee, who is the party's national general secretary, also said that doors of TMC would be opened for Chatterjee only if he was proven innocent.

"The TMC will not support anyone found involved in corruption. After today's disciplinary committee meeting, it was decided that Partha Chatterjee will be removed from all party posts with immediate effect. He will remain suspended from the party till the investigation is over.

If it is proved that he is innocent, then the doors of the party will be opened for him again," Banerjee said at a press conference at TMC Bhavan.

Chatterjee was TMC's secretary general for nearly two decades. He was appointed the party's national vice-president earlier this year.

He was also a member of TMC's national working committee and chairman of its disciplinary committee, besides being the editor of party mouthpiece Jago Bangla'.

Earlier in the day, the state government relieved Chatterjee of his duties as minister in-charge of various departments.

"These strict measures are being taken so that similar situations do not happen in future. We have zero tolerance for corruption. But we want the probe to be completed within a limited time frame.

It should not linger on like the Saradha scam investigation," he said, adding that the "onus" lay on Chatterjee to prove his innocence.

Chatterjee was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate on July 23 in connection with its investigation into alleged irregularities in a recruitment drive by the School Service Commission (SSC).

The central agency also held Chatterjee's close associate Arpita Mukherjee and seized crores of rupees in cash from her residences in different parts of the city.

The suspension came hours after the chorus to expel him from the TMC grew louder within the party, with several leaders openly advocating his removal.

Claiming that the party had no relation with Mukherjee or the cash recovered from her residences, Banerjee demanded that the source of the money and assets seized have to be investigated, no matter what the status of the person.

Replying to the query on the party's change in decision, as it had earlier said that action would be taken only if Chatterjee was proven guilty, Banerjee said, "In the last few days, there have been certain circumstantial evidences, which may be right or wrong. Benefit of the doubt can be given to people, not to any leader.

In a dig at the BJP, the TMC MP said "if Partha Chatterjee joins the saffron camp" later, the probe against him would stop and he would go on to become a saint.

"We have seen that happen in cases related to Sovan Chatterjee, Suvendu Adhikari and Mukul Roy," he quipped.

Rebuffing demands by the opposition for Mamata Banerjee's resignation as the chief minister, he said, several central ministers should step down in that case as it is during BJP's tenure that Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya escaped after looting public money.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 28 2022 | 7:01 PM IST

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