At a time when West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress is facing an all-round attack on the issues of recruitment scam, a statement that sounded like self-introspection from a heavyweight member of the state cabinet has come as a surprise for all.
Admitting that corrupt practices were going on in the state's education sector for quite some, state Irrigation Minister and three-time Trinamool legislator from Naihati in North 24 Parganas district Partha Bhowmik on Thursday admitted that it was the failure on part of the party of not being aware of ongoing corruption.
"A racket was operating in the education sector that carried out all such irregularities. We were unable to identify that racket in time. It was a failure on our part," Bhowmik said while addressing a programme of the party at Bangaon in North 24 Parganas district.
However, at the same time, he said that the Trinamool had been finally able to identify the root of the corruption and take corrective measures.
"The process of the recent teachers' eligibility test examination conducted under instructions of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the supervision of state Education Minister Bratya Basu was totally clean and flawless. No one could point out any fingers towards that," Bhowmik said.
He is not the first one in Trinamool to admit publicly that the recent charges of corruption labelled against the ruling party has maligning the image of the party to a great extent.
Recently, the Minister in charge of North Bengal Udayan Guha said at a similar public meeting that the tagline of "sototar protik (symbol of honesty)" could not more be written on posters or festoons carrying pictures of the Chief Minister just because of the involvement of some party leaders in corrupt practices.
Just three days back at a similar public meeting, Trinamool legislator from Sitai in Cooch Behar district, Jagadish Chandra Barma Basunia said that some leaders who always occupy important chairs in all party meetings are responsible for misleading people and thus giving a bad name to the party.
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