TMC’s protest at Red Road for Bengal’s due funds continues
Kolkata: The protest by Trinamool Congress (TMC), at Red Road, against the Central government’s fund blockade for Bengal entered its 10th day with no responses as of yet from the Union government.
The party has been staging the protest demanding that the Centre clears the funds for Bengal relating to several schemes, with MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana being the main ones. On Sunday too, the sit-in demonstration continued with party leaders taking potshots at the Narendra Modi-led Central government.
Recently, the state government in its Budget allocated about Rs 3700 crore for MGNREGA job card holders in Bengal for financial year 2024-25 but promised to pay them the due money by February 21. “In the last two years, the state government has created 39 crore mandays of work at a total expenditure of Rs 8297 crore, with the assistance of different departments. We are launching a new scheme named Karmashree through which our government will ensure at least 50 days of work to each job card holder. The scheme will start from May 2024,” said state Finance minister Chandrima Bhattacharjee while reading the Budget speech.
The TMC’s Rajya Sabha MP Jawhar Sircar recently drew the attention of the Parliament to the funds owed to Bengal by the Centre. “Bengal has been purposely targeted only because people of the state rejected Mr Modi and Mr Shah who came 22 times to campaign. How much is this due amount? About 1.15 lakh crore is due to us. PM Awas Yojana 9.33 thousand crores due, NHM 933 crores due, Gram Sadak Yojana 770 crores, Swach Bharat 350 crores. Deliberately and malevolently funds were stopped,” he alleged.
Chief Minister and TMC chairperson Mamata Banerjee too had sat on dharna for 48 hours in demand of funds and said she will see the last of it and if the Centre does not agree to release the funds her state government will do so to ensure the poor are not deprived of wages.
Recently, party MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said: “Mamata Banerjee has given her life in the service of the poor ever since she joined politics. This is why she promised to resolve the issues of 21 lakh workers, who have been deprived of their wages by the Central government. The BJP’s Central government does not think about the poor.”
TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh said: “The protest (at Red Road) is for our rights and will continue uninterrupted. If the BJP has an iota of shame or conscience, the BJP-led Central government should release the money belonging to the poor before February 21 as atonement for their sins.”