It is now well known that after Sanjay Baru, ex Coal Secretary P.C Parekh has also fired salvo against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Parekh is of the opinion that the genial Sikh could not take a tough stand to crack down on corruption in his government which ultimately lead to Coalgate and other scams. But a lesser known fact, Parekh in his tell all book also alleges current Bengal Chief Minister and then Coal Minister Mamata Banerjee of violating standard norms in hiring her party workers as trainees. At a time when Left is unable to put up a credible fight against TMC, this sensational claim is likely to be a shot in their armour.
P.C Parekh’s book “Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and other truth” comes in the backdrop of him being charge sheeted by CBI over irregularities in allocation of coal blocks. Parekh who left coal ministry in 2005 got Mamata Banerjee as his first boss towards the end of the NDA rule. Parekh has written an entire chapter of the book on her named, “My first minister Miss Mamata Banerjee: The other side of simplicity”. Here Parekh said that he was completely astounded by the personal simplicity and austere lifestyle of didi. Parekh also vouches for personal honesty of his ex-boss. But what can lead Mamata to trouble is his subsequent claim. Ex IAS officer claims that during her tenure Mamata forced Coal India Limited Chairman M.D Sashikumar to hire 50 workers from her party as trainees for government job. They were appointed as security guard in North Eastern coalfield. Unlike the standard norms, neither notification was issued nor interview taken claims Parekh. The entire matter was done in a clandestine way. The service of those workers was terminated once didi left the Ministry.
Bengal over country?
According to Parekh, CIL chief was just handed a list of name by Mamata who was Coal Minister for only four months. Those workers after joining hardly worked diligently and chose to indulge in party activities, alleges former Coal Secretary. All of these were done at a time when Coal India was already burdened with extra workers. Parekh further goes on to allege that Mamata put some non-descript TMC workers as directors in Neyvelli Lignite Corporation even when previous members had not finished their term. Parekh alleges that Mamata put pressure on Coal India CMD to give donation to NGO’s cherry picked by her. Also according to Parekh, Mamata went against recommendation of Coal India board to lay the foundation of a super specialty hospital in Kolkata. Board was of the opinion that ideally the hospital should be in Jharkhand as 50 per cent of the workers hail from that state. Incidentally the hospital still hasn’t seen the light of day.
Not an isolated incident
Till now, there has been no reaction from TMC camp. But it is more than likely that they will attack Parekh over his dubious record. In that respect, this is unlikely to snowball into a major crisis for the TMC supremo. But the repeated allegations of irregularity is likely to somewhat dent TMC’s credibility in the long run opines many. Earlier TMC leaders name got featured in the Saradha scam. One of the MP is currently behind bars. A top level education official recently created ruckus by saying that party workers (TMC) have been hired in government and they will continue to get similar privilege in future. According to reports received, government officials have been directly asked to campaign for the party in the coming election. Old timers believe this is exactly the model CPIM followed which TMC is imitating. In comrade raj, excellence was sacrificed in alter of mediocrity to satisfy the cadres. It left Bengal way behind other states. Didi will do well not to follow suit.