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Posted on Nov 28, 11:15AM | UNI
Rejecting Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's claim that Trinamool Congress did not take 'cut money,' disgruntled state minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya today said the practice was on in party ranks.
The former state Agriculture Minister, who was shunted to Statistics and Programme Implementation in the recent ministry reshuffle, said it was 'unbelievable' that the Chief Minister was not aware of it.
"The practice of paying and accepting cut money or commission is very much on in party ranks and Trinamool Congress leaders are involved in it. It is unbelievable that the Chief Minister is unware of it," Mr Bhattacharya observed.
Citing examples, he said two appointments of teachers in a school in Singur had been made after the persons were compelled to donate for the party funds.
The MLA from Singur further maintained, "Ms Mamata Banerjee is a fighter, but to my mind is not ideal." Mr Bhattacharya, a 'close aide' of the Chief Minister during the Singur movement, had earlier said he was 'unable' to take up the new responsibility as he did not have 'any idea' in respect of his new portfolio.
"I am unable to take up the new responsibility. I don't have any idea in respect of my new portfolio," the minister, who was transferred for the second time in the ministry reshuffle on November 21, had observed.
Incidentally, cautioning party ranks on 'cut money', the chief minister had remarked on November 24 "Greed has no place in our party. We do not take cut money or accept donations for party funds, unlike others.
"Our party does not survive on cut money. I am ready to sell my paintings and raise funds for fighting elections, if need be," Ms Banerjee had commented while inaugurating the handicrafts fair at 'Milan Mela.' Informatively, the Chief Minister had reshuffled her 18-month-old ministry inducting eight new faces on November 21.
Of the eight, six were sitting Trinamool Congress MLAs, while the other two were Mr Krishnendu Narayan Chowdhury and Mr Humayun Kabir who had switched over to Trinamool Congress from the Congress.
Mr Bhattacharya was replaced by former state Law Minister Moloy Ghatak in the ministry reshuffle.