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Pranab's son quits as Bengal PSU chairman

After finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s son and first-time Congress MLA Abhijit Mukherjee stepped down from the chairmanship of a state-run corporation in West Bengal, the Congress leadership has decided to tell West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee not to promote Congressmen arbitrarily.
By Saubhadra Chatterji | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 27, 2011 11:51 PM IST

After finance minister Pranab Mukherjee’s son and first-time Congress MLA Abhijit Mukherjee stepped down from the chairmanship of a state-run corporation in West Bengal, the Congress leadership has decided to tell West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee not to promote Congressmen arbitrarily.

"Our state unit president Pradip Bhattacharya has been asked by the central leadership to write to Mamata Banerjee to request her that in future if she plans to give posts to Congressmen it should be offered to the party and not to any individual," said a source.

The party is officially mum on the reasons behind the resignation. Sources, however, told HT that as Banerjee had hand-picked junior Mukherjee for that post, Congress central leadership felt it might be a ploy to create rift in the state unit that is already marred with factionalism.

Meanwhile, the party is likely to make Abhijit a general secretary of the state unit. "He is a bright and young man. He deserves to handle bigger responsibilities," Congress general secretary in-charge of Bengal Shakeel Ahmad said. But he refused to speculate when the Abhijit Mukherjee could be elevated to a higher rank.

Abhijit Mukherjee had tendered his resignation from West Bengal Infrastructure Development Finance Corporation (WBIDFC) last week. He was appointed to the post on June 24.

Banerjee had selected Abhijit Mukherjee, a former general manager in Steel Authority of India Ltd, to head the WBIDFC, a non-banking financial company that had been helping the state government financially since 1997.

"WBIDFC was created after then Left government faced major financial crunch. It is a very profitable company and owns huge tracks of land in and around Kolkata," said Mainul Hassan, CPM parliamentarian who was involved in forming the company.

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