February 4, 2021 2:41:18 am
Without naming Rajib Banerjee, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday hit out at the former Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader and state forest minister who joined the BJP last week, accusing him of “malpractices” in the appointment of several “bana sahayaks [helpers in forest department]”. The chief minister said she had ordered an investigation into the alleged irregularities.
At a public rally in Alipurduar district in north Bengal, the TMC chairperson said, “One person recently switched to the BJP. I have received several complaints against him. We found several malpractices on his part while appointing ‘Bana Sahayaks’. I have ordered a probe.”
The Chief Minister accused the BJP of buying “greedy” leaders, and claimed those joining the opposition party were non-performers who would not have been given tickets by her party. That made them leave the TMC and join the BJP, she claimed.
Banerjee said honest work was the only thing valued in her party. “Trinamool Congress is not for sale,” she said, adding that those who were leaving the TMC were doing so for money and to protect the huge amount of wealth they had amassed. She said booth workers were the real strength of the party.
“Those who have switched political allegiance will be defeated in the Assembly polls. Their shops will be closed after the polls,” the CM added.
The TMC chief described the BJP as a “washing machine” that cleanses those accused of corruption, and alleged that the saffron party was paying money to dissident TMC leaders to bring them into their fold. Banerjee took a dig at the BJP for sending a chartered plane to fly rebel TMC leaders to Delhi for their induction in the saffron camp. “The corrupt in the TMC who joined the BJP were being taken in a chartered flight, but the (Central) government could not pay the fares of migrant workers returning to their states,” she added.
Banerjee, who is on a four-day tour of the northern districts, accused PM Narendra Modi of not fulfilling his promise to reopen the tea gardens in north Bengal.
Probe all contractual appointments: Rajib
Addressing a rally in Hooghly, Rajib Banerjee said efforts had been made by the TMC leaders to coerce him to recruit only TMC workers as ‘Bana Sahayaks’ and no action was taken though he had informed the CM. “I believe in maintaining decorum in politics. Just because I have joined another party doesn’t mean I will start abusing leaders of my former party…I want to remind her that to ensure transparent recruitment. I had handed it over to a board,” he said. Rajib asked the CM to cancel the entire panel of Bana Sahayaks instead of raising “baseless” allegations. “I want the CM to order a probe into all the contractual appointments during the TMC regime.” —With PTI Inputs
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