Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee met eight of the protesting panelists of the State Level Selection Test (SLST) — who have been agitating near Gandhi statue on Mayo Road for 500 days alleging corruption in the recruitment process. This came two days after the party suspended its arrested minister, Partha Chatterjee.
Banerjee conducted the meeting with teacher applicants, education minister Bratya Basu and party state general secretary Kunal Ghosh. The meeting was held around 4 pm and lasted over an hour.
For the first time after so many days, the protesting applicants looked slightly relieved after coming down from Banerjee’s office. Sahidullah, leader of the movement said, “Sir and education minister spoke to us. They were humble, and said that they will try to solve our problem in every way possible. There are administrative and legal hurdles that will have to be sorted out. Next meeting we have is with the education minister on August 8.”
There was happiness in the camp with a hope that they finally will get justice. Promises that have been given in this meeting are:
1. They will try to give 100 per cent job to 2016 SLST first list of meritorious pass out applicants.
2. Recruitment of teachers of classes 9, 10, 11, 12 will take place.
3. The education minister and SSC chairman will meet the applicants on August 8. Action will be taken after sorting legal problems.
Protesters feel that the process picked up pace after the Enforcement Directorate arrested Partha Chatterjee. From party’s perspective, insiders in the TMC are saying that Abhishek Banerjee has become the trouble-shooter.
Earlier, the decision to abstain from voting in vice-presidential election was decided by MPs and Mamata Banerjee gave the final nod. Abhishek Banerjee remained calm during the press conference and answered difficult questions.
In Partha Chatterjee’s episode too, Abhishek, on Mamata’s direction, held a meeting with senior leaders and decided the party line on Partha. The decision of suspension was not easy. There too Abhishek handled it very well, say party insiders.
Expectations from Abhishek by party insiders and outsiders are increasing. As Abhishek was meeting teacher applicants, TET teacher (who are equally in a mess because of corruption and are jobless) applicants also sat outside his office. They too wanted to meet him. Banerjee’s office assured that next week he might meet them. Interestingly, this episode has again proved that Abhishek will go long way, say party insiders.