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Proactive attitude of central agencies sparks controversy in Bengal

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Kolkata, Sep 14: The proctive attitude of the central agencies like the ED and CBI summoning several Trinamool Congress leaders just before the crucial Bhabanipur bye-election, where Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is a candidate, sparked a political controversy here. While Trinamool Congress termed it as a political vendetta, rival BJP leaders asked the ruling party to move the court against it.

In the last few days, several Trinamool congress leaders have been summoned by the central agencies either by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in different cases. On September 6, the ED interrogated All Indian Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee for nine hours in the coal smuggling case. He has been summoned again on the 21st of this month. His wife Rujira Banerjee was also summoned, but she has refused to go to Delhi to appear before the ED. Instead, she has requested an interrogation at home.

State Law Minister Moloy Ghatak was asked to come to Delhi and appear before the ED in the same coal smuggling case, but he refused to go and asked the probe agency to come to Kolkata to record his statement. He has told them that they can record his version through video conference.

Another cabinet minister, Partha Chatterjee, was also summoned by the CBI in connection with the I-Core chit fund case.

Chatterjee, who is also the commerce and industry minister of the state, said that he would not be able to appear before the CBI and instead asked the central agency to come and record his statement in the state. Officers of the probe agency, however, came on Monday and interrogated him for two hours.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee lambasted Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit for summoning Abhishek Banerjee for consecutive two days. “They have interrogated him for nine hours and then again the next day they are calling him. We cannot be threatened. We are not Congress or Akhilesh Yadav or Sharad Pawar. We will fight it out politically,” she said in a party’s workers’ meeting.

The series of summons and consequent interrogation has sparked political controversy in the state. Trinamool Congress spokesperson Sukhendu Sekhar Roy said, “This is nothing but political vendetta. They can’t defeat us politically and so they are no using the central agencies to scare us but they cannot cow us down”.

The BJP was quick to respond. “We don’t do this kind of politics. They might be doing this and so they are worried. If they think it is a political vendetta, they are free to move the court. No has stopped them from going there,a senior BJP leader Samik Bhattacharya said.

Former CPI(M) MLA and veteran leader Tanmoy Bhattacharya said, “They are scared of these agencies because they know that they have done the wrong thing. From where did a Trinamool Leader gather 1,251 crore. He will have to answer the question. He should have been behind the bars but unfortunately he is now ruling the state”.

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Maharashtra government tells HC, Param Bir Singh non-traceable

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Call me “Dada”, not “Sir”, Tripura CM Biplab Kumar Deb to employees

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Agartala: In what appears to be a step to boost the morale of the government employees, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb on Sunday asked the government employees to call him “Dada” instead of “Sir”. “Call me Dada, not sir. It enhances the warmth of the relationship”, Deb told a gathering of government employees.

Deb exhorted the government employees of the state especially ASHA and Anganwadi workers of the state asking them not to dishearten as the state government was eager to improve their pay structure.

“I salute the ASHA and Anganwadi workers of my state. The level of dedication that my sisters have shown during the pandemic period deserved applause. I know, they want to hear good news from me and I am assuring you all that this government will not disappoint anyone”, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb told a gathering of government employees at Badharghat sports school field organized by Vivekananda Vicha Manch (VVM).

VVM has emerged as a big platform of government employees, of late, and Sunday’s public rally was its first big gathering to thank the Chief Minister for the series of steps his government took for the welfare of the employees.

“I know what challenges you people are facing. Nothing is hidden in front of me. I am assuring you all everything will be taken care of in the due course of time”, he added.  Lauding the efforts of government employees Deb said, without them no government office can function.

“Due to the efforts of government employees, people can access the benefits of the state sponsored welfare schemes. But, for a prolonged period the employees did not get their right to do something freely. They were trapped in the clutches of unions. In the previous regime, Left sponsored unions used to enjoy supreme power which had reduced the whole work culture of the state to tatters. In 2018, you people showed courage and voted BJP to power”, said Deb.

“Despite fund constraints, the state government is positively working on the issues of DA and other factors pertaining to the interest of the government employees. Our government has already addressed a number of issues related to financial benefits. The ad-hoc promotion, increment for Group D, Group C employees, regularization of SSA teachers, seventh pay scale, UGC scale for professors, special benefit for LTC are to name a few. All these indicate what we want to do and we shall do what we promise”, the Chief Minister said.

The Chief Minister also asked the officials not to call him “sir” suggesting them to refer to him as “Dada” as it makes the relationship stronger and cherished. The Chief Minister also distributed clothes among children of Badharghat sports school during the programme. State BJP President Manik Saha, Minister Ram Prasad Paul, Minister Sushanta Chowdhury, MLA Mimi Majumder, state BJP Vice President and president of Vivekananda Vichar Manch Rajib Bhattacharjee also spoke on the occasion.

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