Attempt to dislodge govt through agencies: Mamata Banerjee, referring to minister’s arrest by ED

Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee was arrested on Saturday.

West Bengal chief minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee today said that there are attempts to dislodge the state government through Central probe agencies. She was speaking at a state award programme and spoke for the first time in public following the arrest of Bengal Commerce and Industries and Information Technology (IT) minister Partha Chatterjee, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate two days ago in connection with an alleged teacher recruitment in School Service Commission (SSC) scam.

“Maharashtra could not fight, and now there will be other states. But don’t be so confident, if you try to come to Bengal to wrest power, you have to overcome the ferocious bite of the Sunderbans tiger,” she said.

Banerjee said that she was not afraid of these “threats”. “If anyone has done something wrong, I don’t mind if that person is punished. But I cannot say it without knowing and before the court says anything,” she said. The Bengal CM said that she was shocked by the “conduct” of the CPIM and the BJP and the way she and her party was attacked by the recent incident. “The woman has no connection with our party or the state government,” she said. The ED on Friday recovered Rs 20 crore in cash from the house of an associate of minister Partha Chatterjee. The ED raided the house of Arpita Mukherjee in Kolkata in connection with an alleged scam. The Central probe agency on Friday evening released a statement which stated: “The said amount in suspected to be proceeds of crime of the said SSC scam.”

Mamata Banerjee today further raised questions on the ED’s decision to take Partha Chatterjee to AIIMS Bhubaneswar for medical check-up. “Why do they have to take him to another state? Is there no good hospital here?” she asked. Chatterjee was today flown in an air ambulance to AIIMS Bhubaneswar for medical check-up, where doctors decided to discharge him as his condition was not serious, they said.

The minister, arrested on Saturday by the ED was earlier the education minister when the scam allegedly took place.

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