Kolkata: In the face of revelations by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam, minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee is getting totally isolated from the state government as well as the party.
The vehicle allotted to Chatterjee as a minister from the secretariat of the state Assembly has been withdrawn. Chatterjee currently holds three parallel portfolios in the state cabinet — state commerce & industries minister, state parliamentary affairs minister and the state information technology and electronics minister.
By virtue of this ministerial portfolio, he was allotted the vehicle number WB 10-006 from the assembly secretariat. However, from Tuesday, state assembly sources confirmed that this particular vehicle stands withdrawn and brought back to the car-pool of the secretariat. “This has been done after the consent of the minister concerned,” said an official of the assembly secretariat on strict condition of anonymity.
Also, Trinamool Congress’s daily party mouth piece in Bengali, Jago Bangla (Wake up Bengal) has stopped referring to Partha Chatterjee as the state minister or the party secretary general, since the time he had been arrested by ED. Wherever references are required for editorial purpose, he is being referred just as “Partha Chatterjee”.
Party insiders said that a decision on this count has been taken by the top leadership of the party. “The problem is that Chatterjee has irked Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by giving her name and mobile number as the contact person to ED, which the agency officials have also mentioned in his arrest memo. So, for the time being he might not be stripped off his ministerial or party posts, but a distance will surely be maintained with him till he comes clean in the court,” said a senior Trinamool Congress leader, who did not wish to be named.
Recently, the chief minister, at a public programme, expressed anguish over her name being dragged in the controversy. “Neither the party nor the state government has any connection with the money recovery. I want the investigation to be completed at the earliest. If anyone is found guilty let him be imprisoned for life. But I am very upset over the manner in which my name is being involved with the money recovery,” the chief minister said.