India’s central economic intelligence agency Enforcement Directorate (ED) has seized Rs 20 crore from the house of Arpita Mukherjee, assistant to West Bengal Industries and Commerce Minister Partha Chatterjee. Partha Chatterjee is the former Education Minister.
The operation was carried out yesterday local time on Friday. The investigating agency under the central government said in a statement, “The recovered money may be related to corruption in the recruitment of teachers in West Bengal.”
Partha Chatterjee is now the Industries and Commerce Minister of the West Bengal state government led by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
When he was the education minister, West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) was accused of illegal recruitment in government-run and aided schools.
West Bengal’s ruling Trinamool Congress termed the raid as a “ploy” by the central BJP government to harass political opponents.
According to a report by Indian media NDTV, the ED raiding team at Arpita’s house took the help of bank officials to count the rupees through a counting machine. Apart from this, it is also seen in the pictures of the house taken during the raid, that a large number of notes of 2000 and 500 rupees have been seized.
ED officials seized 20 mobile phones from Arpita’s house.
Apart from Partha Chatterjee, Minister of State for Education Paresh C Adhikari, Member of Parliament (MLA) Manik Bhattacharya, the ED also raided the houses of several people.
State Transport Minister and Kolkata Mayor Firhad Hakeem said, “This raid by ED, a day after colorful rallies on the occasion of Martyrs’ Day across the country, is nothing but an attempt to harass and intimidate Trinamool Congress leaders.”
However, the BJP has alleged that the Trinamool has facilitated massive corruption in the teacher recruitment process at the primary, higher primary and secondary levels since coming to power.
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