Kolkata: Amidst the ongoing probe into the SSC scam case in West Bengal where state minister Partha Chatterjee is one of the prime accused, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday broke her silence and asserted that she ‘doesn’t support corruption’.
“I don’t support corruption. I get a Rs 1 lakh (Rs100,000) pension from Parliament and Rs 2 lakh as a state MLA. Now count how much money I have made in the last 11 years. I have not taken a single penny besides this. My service is voluntary. Friends, I am sad and disheartened at the attitude of some political party in the last two days,” said the West Bengal CM.
Giving reference to Subhash Chandra Bose’s book “Right to Make Blunders’, she further said, “People do make mistakes. Making mistakes is also a right. If someone has been involved in wrong activities, none of us will interfere no matter how harsh a verdict they face. We will not support them.”
Terming the case a ‘woman-linked incident’ the CM said, “I respect women but all are not good. I want the truth to come out. A verdict should be given based on the truth, within a given time frame. If someone is found guilty, I do not mind if they are punished with life imprisonment.”
Mamata condemned the ‘malicious campaign’ against her by CPI(M) and BJP following the ED arresting Partha Chatterjee.
“Why should someone tag my picture with the heaps of money seized by ED during the investigation. The BJP and CPIM are doing it. Had I not been into politics, I would have chopped off their tongue for their audacity,” she said.
Partha Chatterjee, the Bengal Industries Minister, was arrested on Saturday on money-laundering charges linked to the SSC (School Service Commission) scam.
He was accused of a role in allegedly illegal appointments of schoolteachers and staff in government-run schools when he was state Education Minister.
Chatterjee who was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Saturday dialled party supremo Mamata Banerjee after his arrests, revealed an official document.
The arrest memo of the former education minister stated that Chatterjee called up TMC’s party supremo Banerjee.
The first call was recorded at 1.55 am and remained unanswered. “He called her but she didn’t take his call,” read the memo.
Post then three more attempts were made at 2.37 am, 3.37 am and 9.35 respectively.
As per law, an accused is allowed to make calls to a relative or friend to inform them about their arrest.
Chatterjee, who was arrested by the ED on Saturday, complained of heart pain just hours after the ED remand and demanded “proper medical facilities” if ED’s custody is granted, Chatterjee’s lawyer Somnath Mukherjee had told the media persons in Kolkata and was later flown to Bhubaneswar in an air ambulance for treatment today.
ED personnel raided several locations in the state on July 22 as part of their probe into the money trail involved in a teacher recruitment scam at government-sponsored and aided schools.
Crores of rupees in cash along with other items were allegedly recovered from Mukherjee’s residence, sources said.
Chatterjee’s close associate Arpita Mukherjee was also arrested as part of the ED’s investigation into the scam.
ED arrested Mukherjee after it recovered huge cash amounting to approximately Rs 20 crore from her residence on Friday.