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After bumpy ride to rally in Bengal, Rahul questions Mamata govt over funds use

Nagrakata (WB), Mar 25 (PTI): Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday criticised Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress government over the state of development, alleging that said funds sent by the Union government are not reaching the people.

“We sent crores of rupees to the West Bengal government. The money doesn't belong to the ministers and MLAs. It is your money but it doesn't reach your hands,” Rahul told a party meeting in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

His comments came in the backdrop of the TMC’s repeated charge that the Centre was taking away a huge chunk of state funds in the form of interest on loans taken by the previous government.

On Monday, state finance minister Amit Mitra had alleged that the Centre had deprived Bengal of over Rs 86,000 crore since 2011.

Rahul said the people of Bengal had removed a Communist government and voted for a government to fight for the people and work for the poor.

“But the TMC government is doing the same things against which it fought,” the Congress leader said.

Criticising the infrastructure in the state, he said the roads he travelled through were in such a bad shape that it took him 15-20 minutes for a two-minute journey to reach the meeting venue.

”West Bengal government gives you these kinds of roads on which you have to travel everyday,” Rahul said, adding that the state has not progressed the way it should have.

Listing the achievements of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government, he said they had begun various initiatives such as the Food Security Bill, MNREGA, Right to Information Act and reservation for women in legislatures.

He said the Congress wants to make the country a superpower by empowering women, youth and minorities.

“We want to give 33 per cent seat reservation to women in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies but the Opposition did not allow us to pass the Bill,” Rahul said.