Kolkata News : A state minister said rules of behaviour were on Thursday discussed at the first Cabinet meeting after Banerjee reshuffled her council of ministers following former minister Partha Chatterjee’s arrest .
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has asked her ministers to shun cars fitted with beacons and hooters as she issued dos and don’ts for them to ensure a clean image ahead of the 2023 panchayat and 2024 national polls. This comes after the arrest of two ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in connection with separate alleged scams.
A state minister said the rules of behaviour were on Thursday discussed at the first Cabinet meeting after Banerjee reshuffled her council of ministers following former minister Partha Chatterjee’s arrest. “…they have also been directed to scan files and notes carefully before signing them,” said the minister, requesting anonymity.
This comes after Chatterjee, whom the Enforcement Directorate arrested in connection with a recruitment scam in government schools, told a court he was unaware of a committee primarily responsible for the recruitment. He said he merely signed a file sent to him.
“The ministers have also been asked to maintain a low profile, visit their constituencies and stay in circuit houses. The work of Cabinet and junior ministers will soon be demarcated. She [Banerjee] warned them that becoming a minister does not mean one can do anything and that their work will be monitored,” said a second minister present at the meeting, requesting anonymity.
TMC leader Anubrata Mondol, who is known to be close to Banerjee, was arrested days after Chatterjee’s arrest. Chatterjee was dropped from the Cabinet and suspended from the party.
A third minister, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said dos and don’ts were primarily for the new ministers inducted on August 3. “The chief minister also pulled up a few ministers against whom she said allegations were pouring in. She asked everyone to maintain a clean image.”
In March, Banerjee issued directives asking lawmakers and block presidents to travel on motorbikes and bicycles in villages, dine with families in villages at their own expense, etc. The TMC launched an outreach programme in May, the first phase of which ended in July.