TMC to send one crore farmers' letters to PM seeking MGNREGA funds: Abhishek Banerjee
The TMC national general secretary alleged that BJP MPs and MLAs of the state are asking the Centre not to release the funds due for the state
Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday said the party will send to Prime Minister Narendra Modi one crore signed letters of daily wage earners of West Bengal, who could not get employment under MGNREGA as the Centre allegedly did not release funds for the project for the state.
Upping the ante against the BJP-led government at the Centre ahead of the panchayat election, Banerjee considered number 2 in the TMC said that party workers will hit the streets of Delhi if the government does not release the money which is due to the state.
This has stalled implementation of 100 days work project for the past one year, he claimed while addressing a public meeting here in Alipurduar district in the northern part of the state.
"From April 16, our workers will reach out to the 1.38 crore families who could not be employed in any project (under MGNREGA). We will collect their signed letters to the Prime Minister and send over one crore of such letters to the Centre in a month," Banerjee said.
He alleged that BJP MPs and MLAs of the state are asking the Centre not to release the funds due for the state.
The Diamond Harbour MP said, "By denying MGNREGS funds to Bengal, they (BJP) are attacking the hapless people with unprecedented acrimony. We will always stand against tyranny. They are taking their revenge for the 2021 defeat but we won't let our people down!"
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had met Modi twice to facilitate the release of the funds while a delegation of party MPs had sought appointment of Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh "but he did not meet them despite being in Delhi", the TMC leader said.
He charged union minister John Barla, who is an MP from West Bengal, and Leader of Opposition in the state assembly Suvendu Adhikari with conspiring against the people so that they do not get their due payment.
These two leaders and several others had asked the Centre not to release MGNREGA funds to the state, he claimed.
"Have they been elected to work against people's interest? People of the state should pose this question to big and small BJP leaders," Banerjee added.
Accusing the BJP of peddling the politics of religion while ignoring basic issues such as escalation in fuel prices and threats to livelihood, he said votes cannot be decided on the basis of caste, creed and religion.
Alleging that the Modi government is using central agencies to intimidate political opponents, Banerjee said, "One or two leaders had been arrested and we have taken action against them. TMC does not protect thieves."
Several TMC leaders including a minister and a district president were arrested by central agencies for their alleged involvement in cash for jobs and cattle scams.
Banerjee said the party will field people with clean images in the upcoming panchayat polls and asked TMC leaders in every panchayat to come up with such names.
On the accusations of the TMC leader, BJP national Vice-President Dilip Ghosh said, "The Mamata Banerjee government is only interested in frittering away the central funds by holding fairs and festivals and filling up pockets of its local leaders."