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Bengal: SSC Aspirants' Protest Completes 500 Days, Left Holds Solidarity Rally

Amid investigations into the SSC scam, candidates have been protesting in Kolkata demanding jobs.
Picture credit: People's Reporter
Picture credit: People's Reporter

Kolkata: The sit-in protest by School Service Commission (SSC) job aspirants in Kolkata demanding transparent recruitment based on the merit list entered its 500th day on Wednesday. Left Front leaders expressed solidarity with the movement of job seekers by joining the dharna stage with a huge procession.

For 500 consecutive days, job seekers have been protesting in front of the Gandhi statue in Dharmatala, Kolkata. Many alleged that they were not appointed even though their names were on top of the merit list. For this, the Left Front leadership blamed West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. They also demanded an effective solution for the agitators to get jobs.

On Wednesday, three huge processions by Left supporters from Sealdah, Park Circus and Howrah went to the dharna stage of the job seekers at Dharmatala. Left Front chairman Biman Basu, Politbureau member Suryakant Mishra and other Left leaders were already present on the stage. Besides, Communist Party of India (Marxist) state secretary Md Salim, CPI(M) Central Committee member Sujan Chakraborty, CPI leaders Prabir Dev, Madhuchanda Dev, Forward Block leader Hafiz Alam Sairani, and Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) leader Indrajit Ghosh and other Left leaders took part in the procession.

Biman Basu at Dharna Manch.

Biman Basu at Dharna Manch. Picture credit: People's Reporter

Despite rain, thousands of protesters joined the procession on Wednesday. At the protest, they raised slogans saying, "Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is responsible for all these corruptions." They demanded the resignation of Banerjee and immediate imprisonment of all corrupt Trinamool leaders. "Thief, thief" slogans echoed on the streets of Kolkata, and in some places, pedestrians also joined in sloganeering.

Addressing the gathering from the dharna stage, Left Front Chairman Biman Bose said, "The one who was the education minister in the state is now the industry minister. Just as there was no work in the education department, there was no work in the industry department either. There is a lack of teachers in many schools. Even after appointing so many unfit candidates, the teachers' positions are vacant. Many schools have closed due to the lack of teachers as well. The chief minister is responsible for all of this. The guilty must be punished."

CPI(M) state secretary Mohammed Salim said: "Catch all thieves and put them in jail. From panchayat leader to the municipal councillor, mayor, MLA, minister, Mamata Banerjee, along with her brothers, nephews, and family members - all the thieves should be caught." He further said, "We saw Narada-Sarada scams. The chief minister does not take any action against thieves. She arranged a meeting with Modi (PM Narendra Modi) and Amit Shah. She will do it again. We want to see all thieves in jails, whether under the pressure of people's movement or the pressure of the courts. Be it a bureaucrat or a minister - if he is corrupt, he should be sacked."

Mohammed Salim

Mohammed Salim. Picture credit: People's Reporter

"Those who have been appointed fraudulently by giving money to Trinamool leaders, should be thrown out of their jobs. From Trinamool panchayat Pradhans to Mayors, MLAs, Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee - all the leaders who have acquired illegal properties will see their properties auctioned and the looted money returned," he demanded. "One lakh rupees should be given to every poor person. If the police, ED, and CBI do not take action, the people will act. People will revolt like in Sri Lanka," said Salim, referring to the anti-government protests in the neighbouring island nation.

The Left Front leadership urged all citizens of the state to stand beside the agitating job seekers.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday night, about Rs 30 crore in cash and 5 kg of gold jewellery were recovered from another flat of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee (former state education minister), who has been arrested by the ED over his alleged involvement in the school jobs scam. The second house raided by the ED is located in Belgharia.

Now, the total amount of money recovered from Arpita Mukherjee since last Friday stands at Rs 51 crore 90 lakh. Besides, another flat of Arpita Mukherjee was sealed by the ED. According to ED sources, a search will be conducted in this flat very soon. Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee were arrested on July 23.

On Thursday, TMC's state general secretary Kunal Ghosh demanded that Partha Chatterjee should be removed immediately from his post and expelled from the party.

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