WBSSC recruitment scam: Minister faces uncomfortable questions


Kolkata, May 25 : Former state education minister and Trinamool Congress secretary general Partha Chatterjee on Wednesday faced the second round of grilling by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the West Bengal School Service Commission (WBSSC) scam. Currently, state commerce & industries minister Chatterjee faced a set of most uncomfortable questions since the beginning, sources said. Highly placed CBI sources said that the second phase of grilling started exactly from the point where it ended in the first round of interrogation on May 18. On May 18, the sources said, Chatterjee told the interrogating officials that although he constituted a five member screening committee for the purpose of recruitment, he did not have the control or knowledge on the day-to-day functioning of the said committee. To recall, a Calcutta High Court-appointed judicial committee not only declared the said committee as illegal but also charged its members of making recruitment recommendations even after the lapse of the committee's tenure. It is learnt that on Wednesday, the CBI sleuths did not give Chatterjee the time for initial relaxation after he arrived at the agency's Nizam Police office at around 11 a.m. Sources said the first question that was asked to Chatterjee was that as the-then state education minister why was he not vigilant or why did he not try to exercise his control over the screening committee, perceived to be the root of all the regularities in the body. Sources said that after Chatterjee was unable to be give satisfactory and consistent answers to this question, the next question that he faced was whether anyone from outside WBSSC or the state education department tried to influence the day-to-day functioning of the committee and if that has happened as the-then state education minister why did he not try to arrest that external influence. Till this report was filed, Chatterjee had gone through around one and half hours of questioning and there had been a lot of inconsistencies in his answer till then. CBI sources said Wednesday's questioning session is expected to be quite long. /IANS


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