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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Ahead of PM Modi’s visit, Trinamul questions 'non-release' of MGNREGA dues to Bengal

The TMC also launched a social media campaign with a hashtag 'AayeHoTohBataKeJao' (When you have come, please reply)- in an apparent reference to the alleged withholding of funds under various schemes by the Centre and other issues

PTI Calcutta Published 01.03.24, 01:22 PM
Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi File

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday raised questions about "non-release" of MGNREGA dues to the state, allegedly withheld by the Centre.

The TMC also launched a social media campaign with a hashtag- AayeHoTohBataKeJao (When you have come, please reply)- in an apparent reference to the alleged withholding of funds under various schemes by the Centre and other issues.

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PM Modi will be on a two-day tour in the state from Friday during which he will address two public rallies in Hooghly and Nadia districts and inaugurate several projects, state BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said.

The PM will address two public meetings, the first at Arambag in Hooghly district on Friday, followed by another at Krishnanagar in Nadia on Saturday, he said.

TMC leader Santanu Sen said, "Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the prime minister is again commencing his tour of Bengal. The BJP had won 18 seats from the state in 2019 but the BJP-led central government has withheld the funds of the state in various schemes, including the MGNREGA dues. The 18 MPs requested the Centre to stop releasing the dues to the state."

He also said, "It is the Mamata Banerjee government which is now clearing the dues to workers."

The West Bengal government had on Monday commenced the payment of dues to approximately 30 lakh MGNREGA workers, amounting to Rs 2,700 crore, which was pending since March 2022.

The alleged withholding of the MGNREGA funds by the Centre has been a focal point in the state's political discourse for the past year.

The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA) is aimed at enhancing the livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year.

Sen also questioned the BJP's stance on corruption by pointing fingers at leader of opposition in the assembly Suvendu Adhikari, accused of being involved in various cases.

"Has the BJP suspended Suvendu Adhikari, named in CBI FIR, from the party or will he share the stage with the prime minister at the rally today?"

Responding to the TMC's charges, BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya criticised the ruling party for allegedly spreading misinformation about the Centre not releasing MGNREGA funds.

"The funds have been stopped as the state has not submitted utilisation certificates on the amount spent under the MGNREGA scheme. It is an organised corruption by the TMC dispensation, so they have failed to submit the necessary documents. Let them first submit the utilisation certificate for the funds they have received earlier."

According to a government release, PM Modi will participate in a public event on Friday and inaugurate, dedicate and lay the foundation stone for multiple development projects worth over Rs 7,200 crore in Arambag.

On Saturday, he will head to Krishnanagar to launch development projects worth Rs 15,000 crore, it added.

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