Minister Rabiranjan Chatterjee at the Bijoya Sammelani at Burdwan University on Friday. (Krishna Das)
Burdwan, Nov. 23: A Bijoya get-together with a Trinamul minister as chief guest was held in the administrative building of Burdwan University during office hours today, disrupting work.
The programme was organised by the Sara Bangla Trinamul Siksha Bandhu Samiti, the most powerful non-teaching employees’ organisation in the varsity.
A dais was built on a field in front of the administrative building. Office work came to a halt after 2.30pm as the employees attended the Bijoya Sammelani. The usual office hours are from 10am to 5.30pm.
Science and biotechnology minister Rabiranjan Chatterjee, vice-chancellor Smritikumar Sarkar and pro-VC Shoroshi Mohan Dan and registrar Sripati Mukherjee were present at the event.
Registrar Mukherjee admitted that organising such a programme on the varsity campus during working hours was illegal but pleaded helplessness.
“According to the rules, such programmes can be held indoors on a smaller scale with my permission. But no one sought my permission for today’s event. No one follows rules these days…. The registrar and the VC have to attend such programmes. What can we do?” he said.
VC Sarkar spoke along the same lines. “The university is a big organisation. I will have to take everybody along. Otherwise, the employees will not cooperate with me and no one will work. So you can say that I am keeping my eyes closed,” he said.
Another varsity employees’ organisation affiliated to Trinamul trade union INTTUC criticised the event, betraying signs of a factional feud.
“Such a programme is against the rules. The event could have been held on Saturday, which is a half day. How could a minister be part of an illegal event? said Shaila Ghosh, the secretary of the Burdwan University Karmachari Samiti.
The Left-dominated Burdwan University Karmachari Union also slammed the programme.
The secretary of the Sara Bangla Trinamul Siksha Bandhu Samiti, Sitaram Mukherjee, said: “Those who are criticising today’s programme themselves don’t follow rules.”