Trinamool, Cong on same page over tea garden workers' plight
Kolkata: The ruling Trinamool Congress and the Congress were on the same page at the state Assembly on Monday while claiming that injustice has been done with the workers of the tea gardens in the recent Central Budget.
In the mentioned case at the Assembly, state Parliamentary Affairs minister Partha Chatterjee triggered the discussion lambasting the Central government's decision to pay the wages of the tea garden workers through banks and impose 2 percent cess on their wages.
"The tea garden workers have been neglected in the recent Budget. There has been hardly any money allocated for the rejuvenation of the tea gardens. But they have now decided to pay the wages of the workers through banks. They should
know that there is hardly any bank in close proximity to the tea gardens," Chatterjee said.
He reiterated that the tea garden workers are paid in cash usually by the end of a week so that they can meet their immediate requirements. "They have also imposed cess on the wages. These steps are nothing but an initiative to push the tea garden workers in dire straits," Chatterjee said.
He alleged that the Centre had made tall claims for the development of the tea gardens but the Budget has nothing to augment the livelihood of the workers.
Taking the cue from Chatterjee, Leader of the Opposition Abdul Mannan said the problem of the tea garden workers has been persisting for some years and the secular parties have often protested against it.
"If you give permission, we can form a team of representatives of the MLAs and protest directly. I feel we need to speak directly with the concerned Union minister," Mannan said referring to Speaker Biman Banerjee. Banerjee then said that the topic may be discussed.
Later in the day, Chatterjee said: "I have requested the Left and BJP even to come together. It is an issue of the state and we should ensure the interest of the state first".