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Rebel Trinamool minister rakes up 'cut money' issue

Source: PTI
November 27, 2012 17:31 IST
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Disgruntled West Bengal minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who has refused to take up his new ministerial assignment, on Tuesday stoked the 'cut money' debate, urging Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to tackle corruption in party ranks.

Bhattacharya, who was at the forefront of the Singur agitation, said he shared the chief minister's concern over 'cut money' being taken by ruling Trinamool Congress functionaries in return for services and referred to allegations of exchange of money in school appointments in Singur.

Bhattacharya, who had led the initial agitation against Tata Motor's small car plant in Singur, said he had discussed the issue in the local party office and kept the party higher-ups posted about it, but nothing was done.

"It seems the party is not interested in pursuing the allegations," he regretted.

The chief minister last Saturday spoke out against the practice of paying and accepting 'cut money', sending a stern message for probity in party affairs and the need for an improved work culture to attract investment and rebuild the state's infrastructure.

Bhattacharya said he had received a call from the chief minister's secretariat on Tuesday  morning requesting him to attend the November 30 administrative meeting in Singur convened by the Trinamool supremo.

He said he asked for a formal invitation letter from the chief minister.

The district administration meeting, which was supposed to be held at Chinsurah, the district headquarters, was shifted to Singur to satisfy the sulking minister.

The minister is still adamant about not taking over the new portfolio of statistics and programme implementation after being shunted out of agriculture after the recent Cabinet reshuffle, complaining that the shift to the new department indicates that the party has taken an unfavourable view of his performance.

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