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Amit Shah leads BJP to cash in on Calcutta HC's order cancelling over 25,000 jobs to target Mamata

Mamata Banerjee, however, sought to turn the table on the BJP, accusing the saffron party of using the judiciary to take away jobs from people instead of providing them with employment.
nirban Bhaumik
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 16:58 IST
Last Updated : 23 April 2024, 16:58 IST

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Kolkata: Home Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday led the Bharatiya Janata Party’s bid to cash in on the Calcutta High Court’s order cancelling 25,000 recruitments to schools across West Bengal for irregularities and to cite it to lend credence to the allegations of corruption against the state’s Trinamool Congress’s government.

The TMC supremo and the state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, however, sought to turn the table on the BJP, accusing the saffron party of using the judiciary to take away jobs from people instead of providing them with employment.

“We give jobs in West Bengal. You move the court to take it away,” Banerjee said at an election rally of the TMC in Birbhum on Tuesday, criticising the BJP-led Union Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for growing unemployment in the country.

“The Calcutta High Court yesterday gave a judgment cancelling thousands of appointments made through the 2016 teacher recruitment test. It is a matter of shame that jobs were sold for lakhs of rupees. They have taken 10 lakhs, and 15 lakhs as bribes for jobs. It means if you do not have 15 lakh rupees, how will you get a job for your brothers and sons?” Shah said at a rally in Raiganj, seeking votes for the BJP candidate Kartick Paul.

He was referring to the Calcutta High Court’s order cancelling appointments of 25,753 teachers and non-teaching staff made through the State Level Selection Test (SLST) conducted by the School Service Commission in 2016 in the schools sponsored and aided by the state government of West Bengal. The court delivered the verdict years after several petitions were filed before it, alleging irregularities in the recruitment process.

“This cut-money culture (the practice of extorting money from contractors) and corruption must end in West Bengal. I want to know whether this should stop or not. The TMC can never stop it; only the BJP can stop it,” said Shah.

The scam had come under national focus in July 2022 when Partha Chatterjee, who had been holding the office of the education minister of the TMC’s government in West Bengal then, had been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with the alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teaching and non-teaching staff of the schools. The ED had recovered a huge stash of cash along with other valuables from properties linked with him and his aide Arpita Mukherjee.

“Rs 51 crore were recovered from the residence of TMC minister Partha Chatterjee. What action was taken against him?” he asked.

Chatterjee was suspended from the TMC and removed from the state cabinet in July 2022 after he was arrested by the ED.

Banerjee already called the verdict of the High Court ‘illegal’ and her party, TMC, vowed to stand by the people who lost jobs. The chief minister also promised to move the Supreme Court challenging the order of the High Court.

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Published 23 April 2024, 16:58 IST

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