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Monday, July 23, 2018

Kolkata confidential

What happens when a principal secretary proposes and the chief secretary disposes? The chief secretary has his way.

Written by Express News Service | Published: June 28, 2010 4:26:43 am

What happens when a principal secretary proposes and the chief secretary disposes? The chief secretary has his way. And the consequences can be less than happy for the vanquished babu. Netai Kundu — an Environment department officer searching for land for the proposed NSG hub — was told off by the then Environment secretary M L Meena. Meena was unhappy as the job belonged to the provenance of the home department. “Then I am putting in my papers,” said Kundu. “You better do that,” Meena replied curtly. After resigning,Kundu went to meet chief secretary Ardhendu Sen. It was Sen who,as home secretary,had assigned the job to Kundu. “I have come to say good bye,” Kundu told the CS. “Where are you going? Please take me along,” joked Sen. “I have resigned because Mr Meena is not happy with my work,” Kundu said. “But I am happy with your work,” the CS said. As Kundu reached his office,he received a call from Meena asking him to come and meet him. “Why did you go to the chief secretary?” the principal secretary demanded as Kundu arrived. “He is my top boss. He is very fond of me,” was the intrepid reply. “You take back your resignation,” Meena said. Three days later,Meena left Environment to take over as chairman,Kolkata Port Trust.

Right choice
The choice of Manas Bhuniya as Pradesh Congress President has raised question over the role of Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee in the selection. The announcement came a day after a dinner meeting between Mamata and Union minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi. It is a fact that Bhuniya is not considered as anti-Mamata as leaders like Deepa Dasmunsi,Shankar Singh or Abdul Mannan. By putting him at the top of the state unit,the Congress high command has sent a message of their abiding friendliness with the Trinamool.

Image makeover
With Mamata Banerjee’s chances of sitting at the Writers’ Buildings getting brighter by the day,industrialists are ready to chat up the Maa Mati Manush leader. And the lady seems eager to shed the anti-industry image she acquired in Singur. Recently,she attended in a dinner with them,hosted by Derek O Brian at his home. Away from the media glare,she broke bread with the best of industrialists,many of whom had been close to the CPM and CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. The writing on the wall could not be clearer.

Flop show
Last week,during the premiere of a Tollywood film,a gleaming black SUV screeched to halt in front of a South Kolkata theatre,almost running over a few pedestrians. Before they could protest,a bejewelled lady — the wife of Tollywood’s reigning superstar — emerged from the vehicle to attend the first show of her comeback film. “Move,let madam pass,” shouted her burly bodyguard. As passers-by obliged,an onlooker remarked,“empty vessels make the loudest noise”.

Under microscope
Amid scrutiny from various agencies over the death of Rouvanjit Rawla,La Martiniere School for Boys is being continuously pursued by self-styled investigators. The school was caught totally off guard last week,when three men barged in,claiming to be officials of the Union HRD ministry. A self-appointed team of National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions of India also claimed to have investigated the matter and come up with their recommendations. The team said since the school is a minority educational institute it is open to scrutiny by them as well.

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