TMC open to any investigation into railway recruitment

KOLKATA: Days after CBI director Ranjit Sinha claimed to scrutinise crucial recruitment in the railways since 2009, the Trinamool Congress hit back saying that it has nothing to hide. Days after former railway minister Pawan Bansal’s nephew was caught redhanded in the cash-for-post scam, the Trinamool Congress said it welcomes a probe.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee and her party MPs Dinesh Trivedi and Mukul Roy were railway ministers between 2009 and 2012. In its party website, the Trinamool claimed the ploy as a mere diversionary tactic by the Congress to salvage its image.

The Trinamool also accused the Congress of being vindictive and added that railway recruitment had the sanction of the cabinet committee on appointments headed by the prime minister and central vigilance commission.

“Our record is there for all to see. Mamata Banerjee is a public administrator of unimpeachable honesty. She is not a part of the Congress robber-baron culture. Let the CBI inspect our record and our entire public life. Trinamool is an open book,” senior Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien said.

Just days before, controversial IPS officer Nazrul Islam wrote a letter to the home ministry highlighting allegations of corruption in the railways while Mamata was at the helm of affairs. Islam alleged a post called executive director of security was created, which was illegal.

He also levelled bribery charges on senior railway officials and claimed the public utility indulged in favouritism for plum posts.

“All appointments at the seniormost level were cleared by the cabinet committee on appointments. This committee is headed by the Prime Minister and includes the home and/or finance ministers, along with the railway minister. Even the current chairman of the railway board was chosen by the cabinet committee on appointments headed by the Prime Minister,” the Trinamool claimed in its website.

“All appointments were vetted and cleared by the central vigilance commission. There was no favouritism. In all cases, the name of the person finally appointed was chosen from the shortlist provided and cleared by the cabinet committee on appointments,” the Trinamool said.

On May 13, Sinha said CBI was scrutinising files on all major appointments and contracts in the last three years. In the wake of Bansal’s resignation, the CBI chief hinted the probe agency might lodge fresh cases for irregularities committed during the tenures of Bansal’s predecessors.