Before her surprise visit, Ms Banerjee held a meeting with Mr Chatterjee at her residence on the extortion in colleges.
Kolkata: Plagued by the allegations of rampant extortion by the Trinamul Congress-ruled student unions from candidates for their college admission, chief minister Mamata Banerjee and education minister Partha Chatterjee, paid surprise visits to four reputed colleges in the city on Monday.
While Ms Banerjee visited Ashutosh College in Hazra near her residence in Kalighat at around 12 pm on her way to the state secretariat, Mr Chatterjee went to Seth Anandram Jaipuria College, Manindra Chandra College and Surendranath College. Before her surprise visit, Ms Banerjee held a meeting with Mr Chatterjee at her residence on the extortion in colleges.
Calling for monitoring to irregularities Trinamul supremo later made it clear that merit, not money, should be the yardstick for the students’ admission. Ms Banerjee, who is also an ex-student of Ashutosh College said, “All have to keep an watch. The students should get the chance to study well. They must get the chance. Money should not be the factor. Students are our future. Their progress depends on how better they study.”
She added, “If someone’s father is a rickshaw-puller, it is not a matter of sorrow or insult. There are many poor people who send their children for studies with lot of pain. Many of them do not have money even. We have to look into it from a humanitarian perspective to ensure that there would be no obstable to their children’s admission.”
Ms Banerjee elaborated, “If someone thinks of pocketing money by threat, I ask them to not to do it. But if it continues still then the government will take action according to the law. I was also in student politics once. Seven-eight years of my life were devoted in student politics here. That is why I came to inspect my own college.”
She mentioned, “However I did not receive any complaint from anyone during my interaction with the students, their guardians and the online desk for admission. I have asked ministers and police to go on surprise visits.” Mr Chatterjee said, “If the allegations are true, we will detect it and give exemplary punishment.”
He added, “If the accused is an outsider, the chief minister already said what to be done in that case. I ask the guardians to lodge complaints with the police stations if they want. The police will certainly look into it. Under no circustances irregularities in admission would be entertained due to pressure from outsiders or student unions.”
Mr Chatterjee underlined that no representative from the student union would be included in the admission process.
Bantering the chief minister’s surprise visit state BJP president Dilip Ghosh claimed, “Ms Banerjee likes to make drama. After becoming the chief minister for the first time, she visited from one hospital to another.” He asked, “But have the hospitals’ problems been eliminated? Has the tout network ceased to exist?”
Training guns on the Trinamul chief state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Choudhury asked, “When will you get time to address the plight of the common people if you have to visit colleges to stop the extortion by your party workers?”