WBSSC scam: "Kumbhakarna-like slumber," Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan slams Mamata Banerjee govt

Even though a former state minister and several other officials have been detained in connection with the case, the union education minister accused the TMC government of being unwilling to address the complaints of applicants who have been protesting the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam.

PTIUpdated: Saturday, September 24, 2022, 06:14 PM IST
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Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan |

Kolkata: The West Bengal government led by Mamata Banerjee was criticised for allegedly being involved in the school teachers' recruitment scam on Friday by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. He questioned when the government will awaken from its "slumber" and do what is right by the applicants. The Trinamool Congress responded angrily to Pradhan's remarks, calling them "blatant lies" intended to defame the state government.

Even though a former state minister and several other officials have been detained in connection with the case, the union education minister accused the TMC government of being unwilling to address the complaints of applicants who have been protesting the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam.

“There has been rampant corruption regarding recruitment of school teachers in West Bengal. The corruption in the state's education system has come to the forefront. We had written to the state government in August last year to ensure that the protesting job aspirants get justice. But no action was taken. Even the court had made few observations,” he said.

Dharmendra Pradhan continued to denounce the scam, telling reporters that although numerous prominent TMC officials and state ministers have been detained in connection with it, the state government has yet to ensure that those who have been defrauded receive justice.

"When will the state government awaken from its "Kumbhakarna-like slumber" and provide the long-suffering candidates with justice?," asked the Minister. In the epic "Ramayana," the demon king of Lanka who slept for six months out of the year, Ravana, has a brother named Kumbhakarna.

West Bengal teachers' recruitment scam

Former West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee and his alleged close associate Arpita Mukherjee were arrested on July 23 by the Enforcement Directorate(ED), which is probing the money trail in the School Service Commission recruitment scam. The agency claimed to have seized cash, apart from bullion, jewellery and property deeds from the latter's flats in Kolkata.

The CBI on Monday arrested North Bengal University vice-chancellor Subires Bhattacharyya in connection with its probe into the assistant teachers’ recruitment irregularities in 2016. The TMC hit back, dubbing Pradhan's accusations as a “bunch of lies” aimed at maligning the state government.

"It is shameful that Dharmendra Pradhan has come to West Bengal and is spreading lies and canards against the state government. He is behaving like a BJP leader rather than a union minister,” TMC state general secretary Kunal Ghosh said. If Pradhan is so concerned about corruption in the education system then he should first visit BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh where several people have been killed in connection with the Vyapam scam. “He should also go to BJP-ruled Tripura and stage a protest against the teacher recruitment scam there. TMC has zero tolerance on the issue of corruption,” he said. Pradhan, who was in the city to participate in organisational meetings as part of BJP's 'Pravas' campaign across the country, urged state leaders of the party to strengthen the booth-level organisation in the state.

“During the organisational meeting, Dharmendra Pradhan categorically told us to strengthen booth level organization and use the issue of corruption as a springboard to reach out to the masses. He also told us not to limit our focus on Partha Chatterjee and Anubrata Mondal but include other graft cases and issues concerning the people of the state,” a senior state BJP leader said.

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