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Minister thinks his secretary is ‘mad’

Calcutta, Feb. 22: A war of words has erupted between co-operation minister Rabindra Ghosh and his department secretary N.R. Banerjee with the minister calling the bureaucrat “mad”.

Ghosh said he had showcaused Banerjee for exceeding his brief. Denying the charge, the secretary said he was only “following procedure”.

The minister said: “I don’t think he’s normal. I think he’s mad.”

In reply, Banerjee said: “Let a doctor or psychiatrist determine my mental condition.”

Ghosh also accused Banerjee of slowing down departmental work by refusing to hand over crucial files and not working according to his wishes.

Officials said today the minister felt “slighted” after he recommended a year’s extension for the registrar of co-operative societies, Nanigopal Chakraborty, but Banerjee gave him only a three-month extension.

In addition to this, when Ghosh tried to straightaway nominate persons of his choice as government representatives for district co-operative societies, Banerjee objected, saying their antecedents would have to be checked first.

“I’m only trying to streamline things which the minister is trying to do in an ad hoc and subjective manner. If he’s selecting a candidate, he should take responsibility for his choice, which he’s not doing. I’m trying to work in an objective and transparent manner,” said Banerjee.

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