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Firhad Hakim may lose transport portfolio

The state cabinet may also discuss the issue of the industries minister Partha Chatterjee who is under the CBI probing the School Service Commission scam.

SUBHENDU MAITI | Kolkata |

Speculation is rife that two heavyweight ministers in the Mamata Banerjee cabinet, Firhad Hakim and Partha Chatterjee who is facing the CBI inquiry for his alleged involvement in the School Service Commission (SSC) recruitment scam worth Rs 500 crore may lose their transport and industries portfolios respectively.

On Thursday, the cabinet would sit on yet another meeting at the state secretariat, Nabanna, within a span of hardly couple of days, since Monday, when the first meet was held to discuss issue of reshuffling portfolios at the backdrop of the High Court ruling, has made an observation proposing Partha to step down as a minister.

Highly-placed sources at the state secretariat felt that Firhad Hakim, transport and municipal affairs minister, holding the additional charge of urban development departments, may lose his transport portfolio. He is overburdened with two important departments besides Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), said sources.

He could not even come to the Paribahan Bhavan, transport department headquarters at R N Mukherjee Road that is hardly a km away from KMC office, regularly.

Sources said that files related to many important issues in the transport are not properly monitored owing to his irregular visit to the Paribahan Bhaban.

The state cabinet may also discuss the issue of the industries minister Partha Chatterjee who is under the CBI probing the SSC scam. Today, CBI interrogated him for close to eight hours again for second time since last Wednesday. The heavyweight Trinamul Congress leader and former education minister is facing another inquiry for his alleged role in ponzi scam.

Ruling Trinamul Congress is facing apparently an unheard-before crisis after the high court directed CBI probe in seven separate SSC cases involving large-scale corruption in recruitment of teachers, Group C, D employees in schools across the state.