Business Standard

Arrested West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee sacked from cabinet

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee later said at a government event here that she will look after the portfolios held by Chatterjee for the time being

Partha Chatterjee

Partha Chatterjee

Press Trust of India Kolkata
The West Bengal government on Thursday removed Partha Chatterjee, who was recently arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a school jobs scam, from the ministry with immediate effect.

"Partha Chatterjee, minister in charge, department of industry, commerce and enterprises, department of information technology and electronics, department of parliamentary affairs and department of public enterprises and industrial reconstruction, is hereby relieved of his duties as MIC of the aforesaid department," an official order said.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee later said at a government event here that she will look after the portfolios held by Chatterjee for the time being.

"The departments that were with Partha da will be overseen by me till I reshuffle the cabinet," Banerjee said while addressing a meeting of the West Bengal Industrial Promotion Board, shortly after the order, signed by Chief Secretary H K Dwidevi, was issued.

The ED had arrested Chatterjee, who is also the Trinamool Congress secretary-general, on July 23 in connection with its investigation into alleged irregularities in the recruitment drives by the School Service Commission (SSC).

The central agency has also arrested Chatterjee's close associate Arpita Mukherjee, and seized crores of rupees from her houses in different parts of the city.

Chatterjee became the first minister to be sacked from the cabinet, after the TMC returned to power in the state in 2021.

Reacting to his removal from the ministry, BJP's West Bengal president Sukanta Majumdar alleged that the TMC leadership was trying to make Chatterjee a scapegoat.

"There are several people involved in this. Sacking Partha da alone will not save TMC," Majumdar asserted.

"The main culprit is the chief minister. There is no way other than getting rid of her constitutionally," said Bikas Bhattacharya, the lone Rajya Sabha MP of the Left Front from Bengal.

Earlier in the day, TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh had demanded Chatterjee be sacked from the cabinet and expelled from the party, after nearly Rs 50 crore in cash was recovered from properties linked to him.

"Partha Chatterjee should be removed from ministry and all party posts immediately. He should be expelled. If this statement is considered wrong, party has every right to remove me from all posts. I shall continue as a soldier of @AITCofficial (TMC)," Ghosh tweeted.

Ghosh, however, later tweeted to say that he was deleting the post, and it was his personal opinion.

TMC spokesperson Debangshu Bhattacharya, whose 'Khela Hobe' song headlined the party's 2021 assembly election campaign, had also sought Chatterjee's expulsion from the party.

(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 | 4:36 PM IST

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