Senior Trinamul Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Sunday asserted that agitation demanding the "rightful dues" of the people of West Bengal will continue till funds are released by the central government.
Speaking to reporters at the NSCBI Airport here before flying to New Delhi to join a protest by 100-day job card holders under MGNREGA to demand payment of monetary dues for work done, he claimed that deprivation of the state’s people by the Centre under the present BJP dispensation has surpassed all previous instances.
"The agitation will continue till the rightful dues of the people of Bengal are released by the Centre," he said.
The TMC general secretary said that though the state government had sent verified lists of beneficiaries in December 2022, the Centre is yet to make payments.
"If anyone is found guilty of corruption in a 100-day work or housing scheme, let action be taken against them, but why is money to the beneficiaries stopped?" he asked.
The BJP has been asserting that the payments were stopped due to "irregularities".
Banerjee also demanded the arrest of Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh following the deaths of three children in Bankura district recently, claiming that their family did not get financial assistance under the government housing scheme.
Banerjee claimed that Giriraj Singh has expressed his inability to meet the TMC representatives as he would not be in Delhi, he is scheduled to meet BJP MPs from Bengal.
"This again establishes the step-motherly attitude of BJP towards Bengal," said the TMC leader, considered number two in the party.
Banerjee said that the Union minister had not met a team of TMC MPs earlier.
"It is established that the BJP is forcibly stopping payment of dues of the people of Bengal," the Diamond Harbour MP said.
"Refusal to allot a special train, cancellation of flight, denial of permission for holding the protest meeting in Delhi, all indicate their attempt to stop the voice of the state's people," he said.
Full-service carrier Vistara has cancelled one of its flights from Kolkata to Delhi scheduled for Sunday, saying it needed to operate additional flights for passengers stranded in Kolkata and Port Blair.
The TMC plans to hold a sit-in by its MPs and state ministers at Rajghat on October 2, and a rally of MGNREGA job card holders the next day.
The TMC MP said that he would want the state administration to take note of the deaths of three children at Bishnupur in Bankura district after a mud wall collapsed on them on Saturday and take necessary action.
"It is Narendra Modi and Giriraj Singh and the BJP leaders here who are responsible for the death of these children," he said.
Banerjee claimed that the BJP leaders in Bengal wrote to the central government to stop payment of monetary dues to the people on account of the 100-day work and housing scheme.
"Everyone of them, including Giriraj Singh, should be arrested," he said, demanding a detailed investigation into the deaths of the children.
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