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Monday, March 27, 2023

Do not take away jobs at the drop of a hat: Mamata to judiciary 

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
| Photo Credit: ANI

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday urged the judiciary not to take away jobs at the drop of the hat and added that another chance should be given to those who have committed mistakes. Her remarks come days after the Calcutta High Court directed the termination of jobs of about 842 Group C employees in the State-run schools. “Please do not take away jobs at the drop of the hat. This is not politics,” the Chief Minister said. 

“You may not like me. You may not like my government which is doing so much humanitarian work. If I do something wrong, slap me. I won’t mind anything…. I have not knowingly done anything wrong in life,” an emotional Ms. Banerjee said.

 Participating in an event organized by the Alipore Bar Association she pointed out that at least two persons who have lost jobs recently have died by suicide. The Chief Minister referred to an order of Justice (retd.) Asok Kumar Ganguly of the Supreme Court and said that in the order the Judge had said, “If there is a mistake, correct it.”

Ms. Banerjee urged that the jobs of those whose services had been terminated should be given back to them legally. “If required they can appear in the examination again. Or the court can make some arrangements,” she said. Ms. Banerjee said that if people lost their jobs then they would find it difficult to sustain themselves. Among the 842 candidates who lost jobs recently, names of several Trinamool leaders’ kin as well as relatives of leaders of Opposition parties have come to the fore. 

Earlier the West Bengal government had filed appeals before the High Court for creating additional jobs for those who had obtained jobs allegedly by illegal means. The High Court had rejected such pleas and raised questions as to whose directions these applications were filed. 

So far more than 3,000 people who had secured jobs using illegal means in the State-run schools have lost their jobs as per directions of the High Court. The Chief Minister who holds a law degree said that sometimes she feels that she must argue before the courts. “I have not taken a single CPI(M) cadre job after coming to power. Then why are jobs being taken away if there is no power to give jobs,” she said. 

The Chief Minister’s remarks evoked strong reactions from different corners. Justice Ganguly said that his orders were based on facts and circumstances and his order could not be compared to present circumstances. He also added that the corruption in the existing job scam had not been witnessed anywhere in the past. State BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said that the Chief Minister should don the robes of a lawyer and the entire state should see her defending those who got jobs using illegal means. The Opposition parties said that the Chief Minister’s remarks are an admission that “she is part of the scam”. 

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