Millennium Post

MCC shouldn't prevent benefits to people under govt schemes: CM

Ongoing schemes had been announced much before the announcement of polls

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that state Chief Secretary Malay De will speak with the Election Commission and seek clarifications on whether the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) will come in the way of providing benefits in connection with the ongoing schemes involving public benefit that have been announced much before the announcement of the Lok Sabha elections.

"Some people have come to us saying that they are not properly getting benefits from certain schemes like Rupashree and Samobyathi. We feel that there is no problem in continuing with the schemes of public interest that have been announced much earlier and are ongoing. We will take the matter up with the EC as the public will be suffering if such schemes are stopped with the MCC in effect," Banerjee told reporters at Nabanna.

Under the Rupashree scheme, a one-time financial assistance of Rs 25,000 is given to the economically stressed families at the time of the marriage of their daughters. Under Samobyathi, a one-time ex-gratia grant of Rs 2,000 is given to the bereaved family members of a deceased facing extreme financial crunch in performing the last rites.

"Marriages are settled much earlier and the rituals are performed as per convenience of the family members. Similarly, the unfortunate death of a person may occur anytime. The MCC should not be a bar for providing benefits under these schemes. Moreover, the benefits of the schemes come directly from the government to the public and an MP or MLA has no involvement in handing over the benefits of these schemes," Banerjee reasoned.

The Chief Minister (without naming any political party) alleged that if somebody complains to the EC regarding these schemes, it is unfortunate. "Schemes like Swasthya Sathi, Khadya Sathi and Krishak Bandhu have been announced much earlier and it should continue. The government's job is to ensure that the common people do not suffer by any means," she added.

Meanwhile, Banerjee held a meeting with senior officials from the state Disaster Management Department, in the wake of the hostile weather conditions in the state, particularly on Sunday, when there were reports of two persons being killed after being struck by lightning. "If houses collapse and there is loss of life and property or damage to crops due to any disaster like fire, violent storm or heavy rain, the government should immediately stand by the affected people and provide assistance to them," the Chief Minister said.

Asked about when she will go campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls, Banerjee said that she will do so after the election manifesto of her party is released. "The CBSE and the ICSE examinations are still going on. We have to ensure that they are not inconvenienced by any means," Banerjee said.

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