Clear pending MGNREGA dues immediately: TMC to Centre

TMC is mounting pressure on central government to release funds ahead of the panchayat election

NEW DELHI | Updated: 21 April, 2023 10:53 pm IST
TMC Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandopadhyay and party national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee along with party MPs recently met Union Rural Development ministry officials

Continuing with its tussle over the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) dues, the Trinamool Congress once again asked the central government to clear the pending dues immediately.

The move comes just hours after Union minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh, wrote a letter to TMC Lok Sabha MP Sudip Bandopadhyay acknowledging receipt of TMC’s representation for “release of pending dues of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA (MGNREGA) and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin (PMJAY-G) schemes to the state government”.

Speaking to The New Indian, Bandopadhyay said that West Bengal’s dues are to be cleared immediately. “Call a meeting immediately (of your department) and clear the long pending dues,” the veteran politician said. “Restrain from blocking West Bengal economically. West Bengal’s dues are to be given without further delay,” he further added.

In the letter to Bandopadhyay, who is also the leader of TMC in Lok Sabha, Union minister Singh said, “I am in receipt of your joint representation dated April 5, 2023, signed by Members of Parliament from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha of the All India Trinamool Congress Parliamentary Party from the State of West Bengal for release of pending dues of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA and Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana Gramin (PMAY-G) schemes to the State Government. The said letter has been forwarded to the concerned department for necessary action.”

On April 5, a delegation of 25 TMC MPs, including TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, went to meet Union minister Singh.

However, as the minister was not present, the delegation met with the department secretary regarding the pending MGNREGA dues to West Bengal.

“Over 17 lakh families have not received money for 100 days of work because the centre has blocked the funds. We are here to raise our voices for the wilful rights of the 17 lakh families of West Bengal,” Banerjee had said.

TMC leaders also met Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh, requesting that he ask Giriraj Singh to meet the leaders.

On May 12, 2022, Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the outstanding dues of West Bengal under various schemes. Another letter was written to him on June 9, 2022.

A delegation of Trinamool MPs, led by Bandopadhyay, met the minister on June 16 last year on the same issue.

With West Bengal gearing up for the panchayat election, which is set to play a crucial role in the 2024 general election, TMC is mounting pressure on the centre to release MGNREGA funds.

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