TMC Protests In Delhi: Abhishek Banerjee, the nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived in Delhi on Sunday ahead of Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) planned protest against the denial of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) and housing scheme funds to the West Bengal government in the national capital. As part of TMC’s protest, 49 busloads of party supporters are slated to reach Delhi on Monday. The TMC will hold a peaceful sit-in by its MPs and state ministers at Rajghat on October 2 and a peaceful rally of the MGNREGA job card holders the next day, informed party officials. Both programmes will be live-streamed.
Special Trains Denied, Flight Cancelled
The buses were mobilised by the party after the Indian Railways refused to rent out special trains to take the workers to Delhi pleading unavailability of rakes. The TMC claimed the denial of trains as well as cancellations of a flight to Delhi were part of an attempt by the ruling BJP party to scuttle its demonstration.
Abhishek Banerjee, who is the Member of Parliament from Diamond Harbour Lok Sabha constituency while speaking to reporters at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport (NSCBI) in Kolkata before flying to New Delhi, said, “The agitation will continue till the rightful dues of the people of Bengal are released by the Centre”.
Row Over MGNREGA Funds
The TMC general secretary said that though the state government had sent verified lists of beneficiaries in December 2022, the Centre is yet to make payments. “If anyone is found guilty of corruption in a 100-day work or housing scheme, let action be taken against them, but why is money to the beneficiaries stopped?” he asked.
The BJP has been asserting that the payments were stopped due to “irregularities”.
Demands To Arrest Giriraj Singh
Banerjee also demanded the arrest of Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh following the deaths of three children in Bankura district in a mud house collapse recently, claiming that the deaths could have been avoided if the family had received due financial aid under the government housing scheme to build brick and mortar housing.
Banerjee claimed that Giriraj Singh has expressed his inability to meet the TMC representatives as he would not be in Delhi, though he is scheduled to meet BJP MPs from Bengal.
“This again establishes the step-motherly attitude of the BJP towards Bengal. It is established that the BJP is forcibly stopping payment of dues of the people of Bengal. Refusal to allot a special train, cancellation of flight, denial of permission for holding the protest meeting in Delhi, all indicate their attempt to stop the voice of the state’s people,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)