Calcutta, Aug. 19: State human rights commission chairperson Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly today said the “change” in government was more like a change of jersey, not governance.
The retired Supreme Court judge also said the “situation” in some areas had “deteriorated” after Trinamul came to power.
“Rajjye pala bodol holo, 34 bochorer bam front sashon-er aboshan ghotiye. Kintu ami etake jama bodol-i bolbo, (There has been a change of guard in Bengal after 34 years of Left rule. But I will call it a change of jersey),” Ganguly said at an event in Jadavpur University.
He added: “This is because corruption, favouritism, muscle-flexing during elections and administrative inaction have not changed. I would even say that the situation has deteriorated in some areas compared to what it was during the Left Front regime.”
Asked what prompted his remarks, Ganguly said: “I have said whatever I had to.”
Senior government officials viewed Ganguly’s comments against the backdrop of the rights commission’s deteriorating relationship with the Trinamul government.
“The relationship between the government and the commission has hit a low in recent times,” an official said.
On the eve of Independence Day last year, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had said at a seminar in the Assembly: “I brought a very good person and gave him a post. Not someone from my party but someone a little neutral. But then what did I see — oh God, he has no clue at all! He writes as if he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, or the President of the country! Doesn’t even know what is under his powers; what his jurisdiction is!”
Mamata did not name anyone but the comments came a day after Justice Ganguly recommended compensation for harassing JU professor Ambikesh Mahapatra and his neighbour who had circulated a cartoon lampooning the chief minister.
The government rejected the panel’s recommendation.
Justice Ganguly had also directed the government to pay Rs 2 lakh to Shiladitya Chowdhury, who was called a Maoist by the chief minister in West Midnapore’s Belpahari when he asked her about rising fertiliser prices, and later arrested.
The government had also showcaused Ganguly for a trip to Pakistan without informing the state.