Kolkata confidential : Making news

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s diktat for allowing only selected newspapers for the readers in public libraries has seen many turns and twists,murky shenanigans and acts of vindictiveness.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 2, 2012 12:13 am

Making news

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s diktat for allowing only selected newspapers for the readers in public libraries has seen many turns and twists,murky shenanigans and acts of vindictiveness. The man who became the villain of piece in the eyes of the government was the whistleblower — the librarian of Howrah who first showed the government circular to a reporter of a popular news channel and gave him the necessary soundbyte. As all newspapers followed the news next day,the Department of Information and Culture under Chief Minister Mamata became overactive. One official of the department got in touch with a reporter of the news channel who covers Writers’ Buildings and told him that the chief minister wanted the video of that particular news item. The reporter,after getting instructions from his office,told the official that it was difficult for him to provide the copy of the video. So desperate was the official that she kept on calling the reporter reminding him that it was the chief minister who wanted to see the video clippings.

Panels galore

There is no end of new committees being set up by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The latest is a task force attached with the department of information and culture. Interestingly,some members of the committee have very little to do with culture. For example there is Shankudev Panda,who is the president of students’ wing of the party,the Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad. Another member is Shivaji Panja,a young businessman.

One rises…

The fortune graph of Basudev Banerjee,who is most likely to replace G D Gautama as the next Home Secretary has been on the rise since his term as chairman of the Tea Board ended last year. First,he was posted in the Department of Public Enterprises and Industrial Reconstruction. Later,he was shifted to an important post in the department headed by minister Partha Chatterjee. He was made principal secretary,department of commerce and industries. His friends recall his days as Chief Electoral Officer when he faced the wrath of the Trinamool Congress. They remember one particular day when he was called a CPM’s dalal (broker) by senior Trinamool leaders like Kalyan Banerjee and Saugata Roy during the hearing of the Delimitation Commission in Siliguri and that too in the presence of Mamata Banerjee.

…Another falls

If Basudev Banerjee’s career graph is on the rise,have a look of the fortunes of N R Banerjee. Considered an honest,upright officer who made headlines during the Left Front regime,exposing the irregularities in the co-operation department of which he was principal secretary,Banerjee took on his minister,late Rabin Ghosh,and took potshots at him at a press conference at Writers’ Buildings itself. Two months later,after his tenure with Coal India as Chief Vigilance Officer ended,and people began to think Mamata Banerjee will induct him in some important post,came a shocker. He was shifted to the most insignificant post — Chairman,Central Valuation Board.

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