Calcutta, July 27: The chairman of the House standing committee on higher education, a Trinamul MLA, has struck down a proposal by Opposition members to send a team to Bhaktabala BEd College, where the cash-for-seats allegation had surfaced.
The denial has prompted the Opposition members in the committee to allege that chairman Jiban Mukherjee, the Trinamul legislator from Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas, struck the proposal down as a Trinamul student leader was accused in the case.
Jadavpur University interim vice-chancellor Abhijit Chakrabarti, tasked by the government to probe the allegation, has apparently given a clean chit to Tanmay Acharya, the general secretary of the Kalyani University union led by the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad.
Acharya was named by section of college students as one of those who had taken between Rs 1.25 lakh and Rs 1.65 lakh from each of them to facilitate admissions beyond the sanctioned strength of 100.
House committee chairman Mukherjee has denied the charge, saying he took the decision as the government had already probed the allegation.
“The committee has just submitted its report. The state government is going through it. So where is the need for deputing a team at this moment?” Mukherjee said.
The standing committee had met on July 16, when one of the eight members proposed that a team visit the Bhaktabala BEd College in Nadia to speak to the students who had been admitted beyond the sanctioned strength.
Thirty-two of the 39 students had written to Kalyani University vice-chancellor Rattan Lal Hangloo, naming Acharya and college co-owner Amar Biswas as taking money from them to facilitate admissions.
One of the members said: “We tried to persuade him that a visit by the committee was needed and would in no way affect the government probe. It would have given us an opportunity to speak to the students. But he did not listen to us.”
“We feel he is hesitant because a Trinamul student leader is involved in the case.”
Two of the members echoed him.
The committee members also alleged that the chairman struck down another proposal to send a team to Razabazar Science College, where TMCP members had been accused of assaulting teachers.
The standing committee- comprises eight members —- four from Trinamul, two from the CPM, one each from the Congress and SUCI. The committee visits institutions dogged by clashes or controversies and submits a report in the Assembly.
If the Assembly accepts the report, the department takes cognisance of the recommendations.