Amid the CBI grilling of West Bengal ministers, various political outfits on Friday held agitations across the state demanding the resignation and arrest of the ministers for their alleged involvement in the SSC recruitment “irregularities”.
Members of the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO), an affiliate of the Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist), held an agitation near Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s residence in Kalighat, demanding the resignation of ministers Partha Chatterjee and Paresh Adhikary. Police, however, removed the protesters from the area.
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Chatterjee, now the Industries and Parliamentary Affairs, was the state education minister when most of the alleged irregularities took place, while Adhikary, Minister of State for Education, was quizzed by the CBI over his daughter Ankita’s alleged illegal appointment as a teacher in a government-aided school. Both Adhikary and his daughter were booked under IPC sections 420 (cheating and dishonesty) and 120B (criminal conspiracy), besides sections under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Staging a protest near the SSC office in Salt Lake, BJP Yuva Morcha members raised slogans against the state ministers and demanded their immediate arrest.
In north Bengal’s Cooch Behar district, Left workers took out a rally demanding the arrest of Adhikary.
On the other hand, BJP workers led by Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Suvendu Adhikari took out a ‘Sankalpa Yatra’ in Hooghly’s Serampore, seeking to “establish democracy” in the state.
Speaking with reporters, Adhikari said, “I will not comment on the court proceedings or the ongoing investigations. But it is clear from the recent developments that the TMC government is corrupt from top to bottom. They denied people jobs and played with their lives. They must be brought to the book.”
TMC workers, meanwhile, took out an ‘Abhinandan Yatra’ in Behala Paschim constituency, represented by state minister Partha Chatterjee, who is currently in a spot over the alleged scam, in the afternoon congratulating the Mamata Banerjee government for completing 11 years in office.
The rally was earlier supposed to be held as a protest rally against “targeting” the state ministers. But, following Chatterjee’s appeal through a Facebook post, the rally was taken out to congratulate the state government instead. “Some people have made social media posts terming it a protest rally. I would request everyone to remove such posts immediately. Today’s rally celebrates the 11 years of Maa, Mati, and Manush (mother, land, humans) government. No other issue should come up,” he wrote on Facebook.