West Bengal led by Mamata Banerjee has become the hot bed of organised crime. Already, fighting radicalism, terrorism, and uncountable illegal immigration, the All India Trinamool Congress has now institutionalised corruption in the state.
Strangulating the state’s prosperity with deep corruption, Trinamool Congress is running an illegal parallel economy. With the extensive ‘Cut Money’ system, Bengal Ministers are working like the Mafia, who extort money from the common people. Partha Chatterjee is just the tip of the corrupt iceberg; the illegal system is still to unfold.
The SCC RecruitmentScam
On 22 July 2022, the Directorate of Enforcement (ED) carried out extensive search operations at various premises linked to recruitment scams in the West Bengal School Service Commission and West Bengal Primary Education Board. During the course of searches, the ED recovered about Rs 20 crores of cash from the premises of Arpita Mukherjee, who is the close associate of Partha Chatterjee, the Minister of Commerce and Industry.
Following the recovery, both Partha Chatterjee and Arpita Mukherjee were arrested by the ED. After the successive investigation, ED launched a second round of searches of Arpita’s residence on July 28th. In the searches, ED further recovered Rs 27.9 crores of cash and about Rs 4.31 crores worth in gold.
Cash of Rs 27.9 crores in cash, gold, and jewellery worth Rs 4.31 crores has been recovered till now from the residence of Arpita Mukherjee, a close aide of West Bengal Minister Partha Chatterjee: Sources pic.twitter.com/ZWJuccciw8
Immidiately after the recovery, a political game of blame and sacking began. After his removal from the cabinet, Partha Chatterjee has also been suspended from the party. But, the level of corruption shows that there are many ministers and party officials who are weaving the net of corruption in the state. ED’s successive investigation is expected to enlarge the suspension of ministers from the Mamata cabinet.
Traditionally, West Bengal has been ruled by leftist parties. True to their communist nature, the left government in the state created a corrupt centralised system. They enlarged the power of the bureaucracy in the state’s administration, which catalyses the red tapism in the red state.
With the extensive powers, the unholy link up of Bureaucracy and politicians created a breeding ground for corruption. Extorting money for every project became the norm. They started extorting money for every range of project implementation and welfare schemes. Following the strong leftist syndicate corruption, the Mamata government also advanced its ‘Cut Money’ system.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election campaign in the 2021 West Bengal Assembly election highlighted the ‘Cut Money’ culture in Bengal. Crediting syndicate raj and cutting money culture for the state’s backwardness, PM Modi had heavily criticised the Mamata government.
Cut Money is the institutionalised extortion racket of the Bengal Government. From upper ministers to lower party workers of TMC, all of them extort money from common people as a right. People have to pay a specific amount ranging anywhere from Rs 200 to Rs 25000 to avail benefit of the government’s welfare schemes. Fixed rates are charged for all kinds of schemes.
Indian Express report suggests that for the Ujjala scheme, the beneficiary has to pay about Rs 500 rupees. Similarly, for PM Awas Yojana, the rate ranges between Rs 10,000 to 25,000 per beneficiary, and for Swachh Bharat Mission – Gramin, they charge Rs 900 to 2000. These inhuman corrupt ministers do not even leave the poor people. From MGNREGS schemes, they extort about Rs 20 to 40 per day from the worker’s Rs 190 share.
They claim money from poor people as a right and argue about defending the democracy of the nation. The West Bengal government is not running a state; they are running a syndicate of Mafia. Like Mafia, they have enlarged organised crime in the state with the help of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and extorting money from people.
Corruption and radicalism have engulfed the state’s prosperity. Every recruitment vacancy involves institutionalised corruption from TMC cadres. From cabinet ministers to panchayat members, everyone is linked with this corrupt system and everyone has a fixed share.
The School Service Commission recruitment scam and Partha Chatterjee are just the tip of the corrupt iceberg. Rs 50 crores cash recovery is just a drop in the corrupt ocean of TMC. The ongoing investigation is expected to unearth an uncountable number of money laundering cases. Many more in Bengal await their fate as ED progresses its investigation.
Even if we believe Mamata Banerjee to be truly incorruptible, and that her image donning white saree and slippers is her true self, it won’t matter. Considering the level of corruption exposed by ED in her government, it will not be difficult to predict that the investigation may endanger Mamata’s rule in Bengal.
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