Proximity to estranged UPA partner Mamata Banerjee and her Trinamool Congress cost panelists on some panels for the railways their jobs, on Tuesday.
Minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury dissolved the panels constituted by the former railway minister with intellectuals close to her as chairpersons and members.
“The railway committees on passenger safety, heritage and culture would be disbanded and new members put in place. Only those persons who had or have something to do with the railways would be chosen,” said Chowdhury, a known Mamata baiter.
During her stint with the railways (May 2009-May 2011) Mamata had constituted a number of ‘expert committees’, which comprised only people known to be close to Banerjee.
Even though theatre artiste Saoli Mitra, who chaired the Railway Heritage and Culture Committee had said she had resigned on October 1, other intellectuals had refused to quit even after the Trinamool quit the UPA government.
Theatre personality Bibhash Chakraborty, however, said: “The term of the committees had already expired on October 5. So, we were no longer associated with the committees.”
Painter Shuvaprasanna headed the Railway Passenger Amenities committee that had painter Samir Aich, singer Pallab Kirtaniya and filmmaker Haranath Chakraborty as members.