BENGAL POLITICS: Railways push back test after paper leak – Mamata exposed, and still nothing in Darjeeling areas, just another ‘Toy Ploy’ ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH BUREAU
June 19: The railways have deferred the recruitment examinations scheduled across India on June 27 after the CBI’s revelation yesterday of a question-leak racket involving two senior officials and their families.
Railway sources said the affected exams of June 6 and 13 too could be cancelled and fresh tests held since 780 to 1,000 candidates were suspected to have known the questions.
New dates will soon be announced for the June 27 exam, meant to recruit enquiry-and-reservation clerks and goods guards, a Railway Board official said.
Sources said the CBI had found sealed question papers of the June 27 exam at the Railway Recruitment Board office on Calcutta’s R.G. Kar Road during their countrywide raids on Thursday that busted the racket and netted eight people.
CBI officials said more arrests were likely in a day or two from Calcutta, Mumbai, Raipur and Bangalore. They said most of the racket’s agents were from Andhra, Karnataka, Bihar, Bengal and Maharashtra.
The railways had yesterday suspended S.M. Sharma, appointed by Mamata Banerjee as chairman of the Railway Recruitment Board of Mumbai, following Thursday’s arrest of his son Vivek.
CBI officials said the agency was questioning Sharma somewhere in Mumbai and had written to the Centre for permission to arrest him. Those arrested include the former additional divisional railway manager of Raipur, A.K. Jagannathan, and his son Srujan. Jagannathan retired recently and was appointed head of the Hasan-Mangalore Railway Development Corporation.
The CBI had received the first leads about the racket following a quarrel over the spoils between six agents of the ring, all of them members of Jagannathan’s family, agency sources said without further explanation.
The Railway Board is considering ways to tighten vigil on the country’s 20 Railway Recruitment Boards, which conduct the exams for Group C and D posts. “We are doing a technical audit in close co-ordination with the CBI,” a board official said.
But other railway sources said it would be difficult to curb corruption in recruitment.
Last November, Mamata had summarily removed the chairmen of all the recruitment boards, all of them appointed during Lalu Prasad’s tenure as minister. The drive was taken up after reports of question leaks in Allahabad and Ajmer.
“All the new chairmen were appointed by the Railway Board after Mamata had personally approved their names,” a senior ministry official said. “The two examinations for which the arrests have been made are the first (recruitment scandal) under the new chairmen.”
Sources said the recruitment board chairmen are chosen from among mid-level railway officials with good service records. “Officials with high prospects don’t usually opt for the post. It is not a coveted posting in the railways,” a source said.
Sharma’s flat, No. 14 in Block H of the plush Badhwar Park railway quarters in Cuffe Parade, was locked today. Two of his cars, including a black Pajero, were parked below the building.
His neighbours refused to speak and security officials said they didn’t know where Sharma was. His office at the Bombay Central terminus too was closed.
Top officials of Central and Western Railway live in Badhwar Park, named after the first Indian chairman of the Railway Board, Fateh Chand Badhwar. The complex has two tennis courts, a badminton court, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, and billiards and pool tables apart from a library.
Pull up your socks, CPM tells ministers – socks, what socks ?!! changed it all for ‘chappals’ they did, with Jyoti Basu’s policies ?!!
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
Calcutta, June 19: The CPM today hauled up its ministers and asked them to try and reassert the image of a “do-it-now” government in a desperate bid to stem the slide in its electoral fortunes.
An “upset” party brass asked all the ministers to expedite work in the hope of making a turnaround before the Assembly elections.
The chief minister, who attended the meeting, reminded his colleagues that they had very little time left, betraying concerns about his party’s prospects in the polls scheduled for May 2011. “You don’t have much time left, maybe nine or 10 months. Be prompt…. Expedite implementation of pending projects, particularly those for the rural poor and minorities, who have moved away from us. We must restore this vote bank. Funds will not be a constraint. If you have a new project, send it to me fast,” Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee was quoted as saying.
CPM state secretary Biman Bose stressed the importance of the personal conduct of ministers. “(They) should have a people-friendly image. They shouldn’t be doing or saying things that people will dislike,” Bose is learnt to have said.
According to a source, the CPM state secretary was trying to point a finger at some ministers who have a “high-flying lifestyle” and travel in expensive cars.
Bose apparently also expressed resentment over “lack of co-ordination among minist- ers”, saying it had affected development work. “In land acquisition, setting up industries, issuing below-poverty-line cards or streamlining the public distribution system, where several departments are involved, co-ordination is a must. Fix a six-month target and don’t be bureaucrat-dependent,” Bose was quoted as saying.
“I am told some ministers don’t attend office regularly, leading to accumulation of files,” he added.
The CPM ministers submitted reports on their departments’ performance.
According to a state committee member, the leadership “wasn’t happy” with the ministers’ overall performance as not more than 30 per cent of the targeted work had been done in the past six months.
“Bimanda was visibly peeved at their performance. He said the ministers had been asked to complete at least 50 per cent of their work but they couldn’t. Today, he asked them to dwell on schemes the people would benefit from,” the leader said.
For instance, Paschimanchal affairs minister Sushanta Ghosh was to have completed much of the work for minor irrigation, like sinking tube wells, in West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts. Little has been done. He blamed the “Maoist menace” for this but was reprimanded by the party and told that he should have factored that in at the beginning and worked around it.
Land and land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah and irrigation minister Subhas Naskar were hauled up for not being able to acquire land for construction of embankments even a year after cyclone Aila. They said villagers were unwilling to part with their land, especially since much of the area was under Trinamul control.
Panchayat minister Anisur Rahman was asked why he had been unable to publish the revised BPL list.
“The Opposition didn’t co-operate,” a minister told the meeting.
Instructions to CPM ministers
*Speed up pending projects
*Send new plans to CM
*Shun high-flying lifestyle
*Co-ordinate with colleagues
*Attend office regularly
PCAPA promises ‘justice’, names 9 CPM leaders as culprits – no such body here in the Darjeeling Hills ?!!
FROM MSN NEWS
SOURCE INDIAN EXPRESS
Kolkata, 19 June 2010: In a counter to the CBI, the People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) on Friday released the names of nine top CPM leaders of West Midnapore, including a Cabinet minister, Sushanta Ghosh, as the men responsible for the Jnaneswari train derailment.
The PCAPA, like the CBI, announced Rs 1 lakh reward for anyone who could capture these nine leaders dead or alive and bring them before the committee.
The PCAPA announced the names and reward following the CBI’s move on Thursday to book its convenor Asit Mahato in the train crash case. The PCAPA also announced that it would boycott the CBI investigation into the Jnaneswari Express tragedy.
Manoj Mahato, a PCAPA leader, said, “We ourselves demanded a CBI probe thinking theirs would be a neutral investigation. But it seems that some of the officers recruited by the CPM are probing the matter. And that’s why they have framed our chief Asit Mahato.”
“We will bring the real culprits in front of the people and they will be punished in a Kangaroo Court. We know who has done this. There were nine people who committed the crime. They are Sushanta Ghosh, Lakshman Ghosh, Dahareswar Sen, Hiraralal Mahato, Annuj Pandey, Prasanto Das, Arjun Mahato, Dhruba Sannigrahi and Manik Mahato,” said Manoj Mahato.
The outfit promised a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anybody who could capture these nine men and bring them to PCAPA leaders. “If the CBI can announce reward on our leaders, we can also announce money for anybody who can give any information about these people. We will collect the total amount of Rs 9 lakh by begging,” Mahato said.
The PCAPA will observe ‘black day’ on June 23, 24 against the CBI move to ‘frame’ Asit Mahato, added Mahato.