Mamata to stage dharna in Kolkata for non payment of MGNREGA funds

| Updated: 23 March, 2023 3:30 pm IST
Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee (file photo)

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will stage a sit-in demonstration in Kolkata on March 29, and 30 to protest the Modi government’s alleged discrimination against West Bengal in allocation of funds and its alleged attempt to malign the image of the TMC government, said TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien during a press conference in the national capital on Thursday. He was accompanied by TMC Lok Sabha MP Saugata Roy.

“Mamata Banerjee will be sit for a demonstration’ for non payment of MNREGA.  Bengal has a large workforce of daily wage earners under MNREGA. The last wage instalment was made in 2021. 3.7 crore workers have not been paid. The BJP is doing this deliberately.  MGNREGA is a guarantee , is a right and BJP is not delivering on it,” said  O’Brien.

On Wednesday, during her interaction with media persons at Dumdum airport, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, “I will hold a two-day protest near the Ambedkar Statue on March 29-30 as the chief minister of Bengal to protest against this dictatorial attempt to malign the Bengal government and deprive our state of its rightful due,” Banerjee told media persons at Dumdum airport before leaving for Odisha.

Following her sit-in protest, Trinamool Congress workers will also stage protests at block and district levels in West Bengal.

Senior TMC leaders told The New Indian that the Central government has not released funds for National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and other housing and road development schemes despite repeated letters and raising the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“West Bengal is the only state which has not received any funds for the 100 days of work under MGNREGA this year. The same is the case with Awas Yojana and Gramin Sadak Yojana,” said CM Banerjee, adding the Central has to disburse 7000 crore under MGNREGA alone.

Banerjee further said, “I met the prime minister around six months ago to discuss the matters pertaining to 100 days of work, roads, Awas Yojana, and asked for the disbursal of ₹1.15 lakh crores pending under various heads. I have also spoken to (Union home minister) Amit Shah when he came here for the meeting and have written several letters to the Central government regarding this.”

The TMC supremo called the stoppage of funding a “deliberate attempt”. “They are sending Central teams to Bengal. And if they can’t find anything, they are sending central investigative agencies,” she said, adding that CBI and ED directors are “acting like local BJP leaders”.

On Tuesday, Banerjee – who harbours a national leadership ambition – left for a two days visit to Odisha to meet chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

She has announced to go solo in the next general elections. Recently, she met Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav in Kolkata where they discussed the next parliamentary election.


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