Dharna from 2 Feb if BJP won't give Bengal its dues: Mamata
The chief minister said the Centre owes the state a mammoth Rs 7,000 crore for several central govt schemes
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, 31 January, said she would sit in dharna from 2 February if the BJP-led government at the Centre does not clear the state's dues.
Speaking at an official function in Malda, Banerjee urged party workers and those affected by the non-payment of funds to participate in the dharna, which is to be staged at the B.R. Ambedkar statue in the Red Road area in Kolkata.
"I have given them an ultimatum till 1 February to clear all dues of the state, failing which I will stage a dharna from 2 February," the Trinamool Congress supremo said. "If the dues are not cleared, I know how to get it through a movement.
"I urge all party leaders and workers to participate in the dharna... I want everyone's support," she said.
The chief minister claimed that the state's dues amount to a mammoth Rs 7,000 crore for several central schemes, including MGNREGA and PM Gramin Awas Yojana (PMGAY).
Banerjee said that around 156 central teams have visited the state to check whether the schemes were being implemented properly. State officers also met their central government counterparts last week in connection with this, she said.
"Despite all these, the Centre is yet to pay us our dues," she added.
In a press conference in New Delhi, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar accused the TMC leader of treating the public money like her own.
"Her government has tried to loot public money everywhere. The CAG report is a slap on her government's face and exposes it," Majumdar alleged.
According to the BJP, the CAG report highlighted that over 2.4 lakh utilisation certificates, required to be submitted for completed projects within a fixed time, were not filed by the state government.
When questioned about the allegations, the chief minister said, "Members of the PAC (Public Accounts Committee) see each and every account. Ask them how much property they have accumulated by depriving the poor."