By Ayan Samajdar
Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly and BJP legislator Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday joined the government employees protesting for hike in dearness allowance (DA) while taking a sharp jibe at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, calling her the ‘queen of thieves’.
The BJP MLA assured the Joint Forum of State Government Employees his support in their protest. Addressing the gathering, Adhikari said, “You have scripted history. Yesterday yuvraj (Abhisekh Banerjee) left the leftover pouches of water from here. Those pouches are being used in the ‘rani ma’s’ (CM Banerjee’s) meeting. By doing this, the TMC government can’t stop the protest. After many hurdles, all of you have ensured the protest’s success. It would be a great success. We have already cleared our stand in the state Assembly earlier as well as in the budget session of 202-23 that DA is the right of employees and the government has to provide it.”
He further said, “It is the government’s responsibility, and not of the employees, to arrange the funds. In this government, only one position is ‘post’ while the rest are ‘lamp posts’. I have worked with the one holding the post (with Banerjee as CM) and I was shocked to see how the then state finance minister and now chief economic adviser Amit Mitra was getting full-fledged facilities as a cabinet minister. CM Mamata scrapped 6 lakh permanent vacancies in front of me with Mitra accompanying her.”
He continued, “To fill these posts, the government is hiring people on contractual basis and giving opportunities to their relatives and party cadres. Nearly 60,000 people were hired on contractual basis. Many of them got the jobs through third-party hiring process. Civic volunteers, doctors and professors are also being hired through the same route. The Public Service Commission is defunct.”
The ruling party, he alleged, has been trying to sell the posts in the Education Department in the form of a single-window system.
“If you question CM Mamata about Rs 27,000 crore she has provided to NGOs in 12 years, Rs 5 lakh each to 15000 clubs, you will not get any answer. In 2019, her party got defeated in the Lok Sabha polls,” he added.
Chandan Chatterjee, a member of the employees forum, said,“ We want the resignation of Mamata Banerjee. We all know about your corrupt practices. If you want votes, you have to respect government employees.”
Criticising the employees participating in the stir, CM Banerjee said those camping at Shahid Minar received jobs illegally during the Left Front regime. “The thieves who received jobs through the ‘chirkut’ system are there at the agitation site. Do I need to take lessons from these dacoits and BJP goons?” she asked.
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By Ayan Samajdar