Document for the purchase of land jointly by Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee in 2012 at Bolpur-Santiniketan in West Bengal’s Birbhum district has his college-day picture.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) officials probing the multi-crore West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment irregularities scam are wondering whether this former minister of West Bengal deliberately submitted his college day picture to hide his identity.
In fact, ED sources said, that Chatterjee unknowing left the trail of his college day picture in the social media in November last year, after the sudden demise of veteran Trinamul Congress leader and the former West Bengal panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee, whom Partha Chatterjee has often declared as his political mentor.
After the demise of Mukherjee last year, Partha Chatterjee shared his college-day photo with Subrata Mukherjee, when both were active leaders of Congress’s student wing in West Bengal, Chhatra Parishad. Young Chatterjee’s face in that photo, with black and thick French-cut beard, is exactly identical to the photo that he submitted with the purchase document of the land.
The land purchase document done in 2012 shows that the close association between Arpita Mukherjee and Partha Chatterjee started much before Partha became the education minister. In 2012, or a year after the Trinamul Congress came to power ousting the 34-year-old Left Front government, Chatterjee was the state commerce and industries and parliamentary affairs minister. He became education minister in May 2014 and continued in that chair till May 2021.
After the 2021 Bengal Assembly polls, Chatterjee was again given the portfolio of commerce and industries and held it till July 28, when he was stripped of all his ministerial and party charges.
ED sources said that on that land there is now a luxurious mansion christened “Apa” – deemed to be derived from the first letter of her name and first two letters of his name.
Although the purchase document of the land in 2012 was jointly in the name of Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee, after the construction of the mansion, its mutation was done in 2020 and that certificate was issued only in the name of Mukherjee.