CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee on Monday reacted sharply to corruption allegations raised by a section of TMC leaders against the district administration in Purulia, directly warning District Magistrate Rahul Majumder, “If it was my party workers [facing such allegations], I would have slapped them four times.”
She was speaking during an administrative meeting at Purulia. Earlier, a TMC leader, who was also present in the meeting, alleged, “There is no accounting of the revenue received from the local brick kiln. The money is going into the ‘pockets’ of some government employees.”
A visibly upset Mamata said, “District Magistrate, can you hear me? This [corruption] is not done by the TMC. Some lower-level employees in the administration are doing this. They are taking the money themselves! What district are you running [district magistrate]? You have been in this district for so many days. My perception about you has changed.”
She added, “I am giving so much to people, but why have some people become so greedy? How much more [do they want]?”
Banerjee also asked administration officials why many works in the district have been pending for a long time.
“Why have many people not got ownership of land despite having applied long ago? Till date I used to request… but now I am ordering you: In the same timeframe of Duare Sarkar (Government at your doorstep) programme, these works should also be implemented.”
The CM recently started her tour of districts by visiting Paschim Medinipur and Jhargram where she warned her party leaders that she would not tolerate any corruption and anyone in the TMC found indulging in corrupt practices would be expelled from the party.
In a move aimed at strengthening discipline at the grassroots, apart from reining in errant leaders and curbing violence, the TMC has been preparing for party chief Mamata’s visit to districts where she will directly hold meetings with panchayat and booth-level workers. This comes as the panchayat polls are scheduled for next year. Banerjee, according to party insiders, does not want any violence in the coming polls and will send the message to local leaders and workers at these meetings.