The close association between Arpita Mukherjee and Partha Chatterjee started much before the latter became West Bengal Education Minister as is evident from a land purchase deed at Bolpur-Santiniketan in Birbhum district, famous for Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore-founded Visva Bharati University.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) sleuths, probing the multi-crore West Bengal Service Commission (WBSSC) recruitment scam, have accessed documents of a luxurious mansion in the name of Mukherjee at Fuldanga area in Bolpur-Santiniketan. The name of the mansion is "APA" - deemed to be derived from the first letter of her name and first two letters of his name.
Residents of Fuldanga area have also confirmed that they have seen Chatterjee and Mukherjee coming together to 'APA' several times.
ED sources said that although currently the mansion is registered in the name of Mukherjee, past records of the land on which the mansion is constructed shows the association of Chatterjee with it.
As per records of the West Bengal Land and Land Reforms, and Refugee, Relief and Rehabilitation department, the land, of around seven kathas on which the mansion is constructed, was purchased in 2012 jointly by Mukherjee and Chatterjee from a Kolkata- based Bengali family at a price of Rs 20 lakh.
However, after the construction of the mansion, its mutation was done in 2020 and that certificate was issued only in the name of Mukherjee.
From the timeline, it is clear that their association was much before Chatterjee became Education Minister. In 2012, or a year after the Trinamool 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 West 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 this is not the only property in the district that has monetary involvement of Chatterjee and Mukherjee. "Many more such properties are currently under our scanner and all details will be revealed in the days to come," an ED official said.