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Firhad Hakim snubs Kunal Ghosh on jibe at Partha Chatterjee

The Trinamul spokesperson suggested that the former education minister could throw light on the alleged anomalies in the SSC recruitment

Subhankar Chowdhury Calcutta Published 10.04.22, 02:07 AM
Firhad Hakim (left); Partha Chatterjee

Firhad Hakim (left); Partha Chatterjee Telegraph picture

The alleged anomalies in recruitment through the school service commission (SSC) has laid bare the power struggle within the Trinamul Congress with urban development minister Firhad Hakim throwing his weight behind his cabinet colleague Partha Chatterjee on Saturday.

Hakim, the mayor of Calcutta, swatted away the comments of Trinamul spokesperson Kunal Ghosh — who is viewed as being close to Trinamul national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. Ghosh suggested that Chatterjee, former education minister, could throw light on the alleged anomalies in the recruitment, which are now being probed by the CBI.


“No minister from Trinamul has committed any injustice. It is subject to investigation whether there were any procedural lapses. I am a minister in the cabinet that has Parthada as well. If there were any procedural lapses, I am as much responsible as Parthada. This is a collective responsibility. We cannot keep on passing the buck,” said Hakim.

“Kunal Ghosh is not part of the cabinet,” the minister added, making it apparent that his comments didn’t matter.

Calcutta High Court had on Thursday issued another order directing the CBI to lodge a fresh FIR in the case relating to alleged illegal appointment of teachers in classes IX and X by the SSC.

“I am in charge of the Calcutta Municipal Corporation. Is it possible for me to find out who is taking a bribe in the assessment department? Is it possible for me to track whether any malpractice is being exercised in the trade license department?...,” said Hakim.

Hakim’s reaction to Ghosh assumes significance in the context of recent developments in Trinamul where Abhishek’s reservations about the party’s old guard — Chatterjee, Hakim and others — tumbled out in the open. The Diamond Harbour MP’s insistence on one-person one-post in the party, because of which his relationship with Mamata Banerjee suffered for a brief period, was seen as his attempt to reduce the clout of Hakim.

With Mamata firmly backing the old guard, especially Hakim, Abhishek suffered a setback. Trinamul insiders said while Abhishek had accepted his aunt’s views for the time being, he was using Ghosh to air his views in public.

On Wednesday, Ghosh took a jibe at party leader Birbhum district Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal, who apparently doesn’t enjoy the confidence of Abhishek, for not appearing before the CBI, which had summoned him during the day in a cattle smuggling case, and getting admitted to SSKM Hospital.

He said Abhishek had faced central agencies despite the BJP using them to pursue its vendetta politics.

“There is a genuine sense of discomfort in the ruling party over so many CBI probes, from recruitment scam to cattle smuggling and Bogtui carnage to Jhalda murder, in the state.... And these exchanges are not only the signs of that discomfort but also the power struggle in the party, where two generations are pitted against each other,” said a political observer.

According to him, that is why Hakim has rallied around Chatterjee, realising that Ghosh’s comments about the former education minister was more an assault on the party’s old guard.

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