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Teachers on sale, underqualified people hired: ex-TMC leader hits Partha Chatterjee

Baisakhi Banerjee, a former Trinamool Congress leader, has made new allegations against sacked Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee, who is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the teacher recruitment scam. Banerjee, the General Secretary of the West Bengal College and Universities Professors’ Association (WBCUPA), claimed that during Partha Chatterjee’s tenure as Minister of Education, undeserving candidates were given direct entry into educational institutions.

In an interview with ANI, she stated that every teaching position in state-run universities was ‘for sale’. and that if details about college and university recruitments become public, it could be a bigger scam than the West Bengal School Service Commission (SSC) scam.

‘Inside the WBCUPA, there was a syndicate that added a price tag to the college university sub-post where every post was for sale’.  Those who couldn’t even teach in school were pushed into the university by Partha Chatterjee, according to Banerjee. She claimed that the then-education minister was hiring ‘unqualified thieves’. The former TMC leader reiterated her earlier charge that he was not only aware that his subordinates were accepting kickbacks, but that he, too, was corrupt.

‘He regarded no one as superior to himself, not even Mamata Banerjee’. He abused his position several times and completely dominated the education department,’ she continued. Banerjee went on to say that when she confronted Chatterjee about alleged malfeasance in the education department, he drew up the people involved and suspended a man accused of corruption. However, she claimed that this was all a ruse.

‘After a few days, I realised it was all a facade.  When the same man returned to the education sector in a more powerful capacity, I realised that corruption would not end here and would worsen,’ she explained. Partha Chatterjee was the education minister of TMC-ruled West Bengal at the time of the alleged irregularities in SSC recruitment drives. On July 23, the ED arrested him and his close associate Arpita Mukherjee as part of its investigation into the scam.

Earlier, the ED had recovered approximately Rs 50 crore in cash and jewellery from Arpita Mukherjee’s two apartments in Tollygunge and Belghoria. They also own a farmhouse in Santiniketan, which they bought for Rs 20 lakh. Chatterjee and Mukherjee are being held in ED custody after a special court in Kolkata denied their bail applications. The TMC has dropped Chatterjee as a minister. Mamata Banerjee, the Chief Minister of West Bengal, also suspended him and removed him from all party positions.

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