Bengal education minister Bratya Basu on Friday asked why Group C and D jobs in colleges were not brought under the ambit of the College Service Commission during the Left Front rule even though the panel had been set up in 1979 before alleging that it had been done to recruit people close to CPM leaders to those posts.
“We have brought Group C and D jobs in colleges under the ambit of the College Service Commission. The commission was set up in 1979, within two years of the Left Front coming to power. But the CPM did not bring Group C and D jobs under the commission to serve its own interests — to recruit their people,” Basu told a news conference at Bikash Bhavan here on Friday.
Basu’s comments hold significance in the backdrop of alleged irregularities in teachers’ recruitment, which led to the arrest of former education minister Partha Chatterjee.
On Thursday, Chatterjee had accused Opposition leaders Sujan Chakraborty of the CPM and the BJP’s Dilip Ghosh and Suvendu Adhikari of lobbying him for jobs for people close to them.
The allegation triggered a bitter war of words between the Trinamul Congress and the Opposition leaders, who accused Chatterjee of conspiring against them.
A day after the bitter exchanges on the recruitment “scam”, several Trinamul leaders raised questions over the appointment of Mili Chakraborty, wife of CPM leader Sujan Chakraborty, at a government college in the late 80’s.
Basu has said his department will not initiate any inquiry into the recruitment of Mili Chakraborty right at this moment even though Trinamul leaders like irrigation minister Partha Bhowmick and Kunal Ghosh raised the issue.
“Now, if we suddenly start a departmental probe, Mamata Banerjee may ask why we were conducting an investigation into a government employee without consulting her. We would not be able to give her a satisfactory answer. That is why I have to talk to her before starting any probe,” said the minister.
Reacting to minister Basu’s charge, Left Front convenor Biman Bose said: “Whoever is accusing the Left rule of corruption, please ask them to go to the court and ask for an investigation. Whatever investigation which is going on is on the court’s orders. Till 1988, non-teaching staff had been recruited not through an examination. The respective colleges recruited them individually. As far as I know, Sujan Chakraborty’s wife was recruited in 1987. Let the current government publish a white paper on corruption during the Left rule. None of us is afraid of any kind of investigation.”
Sources in Trinamul said the party was desperate to counter the CPM and the BJP on the alleged recruitment scam since the Opposition was continuously attacking the ruling dispensation over the issue.
An official has said if the department suddenly starts an inquiry on the issue, it might be challenged in court.