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regular-article-logo Thursday, 25 April 2024

Party thicker than blood for Udayan Guha

'My father, too, had got involved in corruption in the interest of his party', said the Trinamul minister

Our Correspondent Cooch Behar Published 26.03.23, 05:36 AM
Udayan Guha

Udayan Guha File picture

North Bengal development minister Udayan Guha has acknowledged that his deceased father, Forward Bloc veteran and former minister Kamal Guha, had got involved in recruitment-related corruption, in his eagerness to bolster Trinamul counter-allegations of graft during Left rule.

Udayan, while speaking with newspersons in Dinhata of Cooch Behar district, said: “My father, too, had got involved in corruption in the interest of his party. I am not here to defend him and say that whatever he did was correct. He provided jobs to a number of people. Lists of candidates who will be provided jobs were prepared and my father endorsed those. It is evident that competent candidates were deprived through such exercises.”

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“Those who are squatting on the streets now and crying hoarse that eligible candidates have been deprived should realise that their (political) predecessors have also deprived people of jobs,” Udayan added.

Kamal Guha, a political heavyweight in north Bengal and a prominent face in the Left Front, had been a senior MLA and worked as a cabinet minister in four different terms, handling departments like agriculture and agricultural marketing.

Udayan’s remarks are being seen as a continuation of Trinamul’s strategy to exert pressure on the Left with allegations that several people got government jobs through chirkuts or referral chits when the Left Front government was in power in Bengal.

Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia, a Trinamul MLA from the Sitai Assembly seat in Cooch Behar, backed Udayan.

“I was also associated with the Left Front earlier. At that time, lists of candidates were prepared in the offices of Left parties. There was no practice of conducting tests and interviews,” said the MLA.

However, senior Trinamul party leader and minister Firhad Hakim said Udayan made the remarks out of “sheer madness.”

“I don’t know what he has said but no one can be employed on the basis of a chirkut. At least an application is required to recruit a person,” Hakim said.

Left leaders like Sujan Chakraborty, who has been facing consistent political attacks from Trinamul over the recruitment of his wife, pointed to the rift within the ruling party.

“There is some problem within Trinamul. On one hand, Udayan Guha tried to justify the likes of (former education minister) Partha Chatterjee by accusing his own father. On the other hand, Firhad Hakim said that one can’t get a job through a çhirkut,” said Chakraborty.

Naren Chatterjee, the state secretary of the All India Forward Bloc, was also critical of Udayan’s statements.

“Kamal Guha served the people of Bengal for several years. What his son did today (Saturday) is shameful,” Chatterjee said.

The BJP scoffed both at Trinamul and the Left.

“We don’t think Mamata Banerjee can have a more loyal supporter than Udayan Guha. However, we thank him for accepting and bringing it to the public forum that during the erstwhile Left rule, recruitments were made through written notes,” said state BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya

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