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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 26 June 2024

Amit Shah spin suggestion on Centre’s funds freeze

Bengal has not received funds under the 100-day job scheme since December 2021

Arkamoy Datta Majumdar Calcutta Published 16.04.23, 06:10 AM
Amit Shah.

Amit Shah. File picture

Union home minister Amit Shah has asked BJP leaders in Bengal to create an alternative narrative to contest the Trinamul-led government’s charge that the Centre’s funds freeze was depriving the people of the state.

The directive was passed to state leaders during multiple meetings that Shah held with them on Friday and Saturday before flying off to Delhi.

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“He instructed us to tell the people of Bengal that the funds freeze is due to irregularities in handing central funds and the state government’s repeated refusal to produce proper accounts on the usage of the money received...,” said a source in the state BJP.

Bengal has not received funds under the 100-day job scheme since December 2021. The Centre has not released wage dues of Rs 2,700 crore. No money was released in the 2022-23 financial year under the scheme. The Centre has not cleared any proposal of Bengal for the 2023-24 financial year too, citing misappropriation of funds.

The Centre did not release funds under the rural housing scheme although the state finalised the list of 11.36 lakh PMAY beneficiaries. Bengal also did not get funds under the rural roads scheme (PMGSY) for 2022-23.

The freeze on the flow of funds from the Centre has cast a shadow on rural Bengal, prompting many who returned to the state during the lockdown to leave for other states in search of livelihood. Several economists have pointed to the impact on Bengal’s rural economy.

Sources in the state unit of the BJP said that while some like leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari believe that the rural discontent will help the BJP electorally, others think the move may backfire as Trinamul is referring to the Centre’s “step-motherly attitude towards Bengal”.

Last month, chief minister Mamata Banerjee held a 31-hour dharna demanding immediate release of central funds.

“The fact that Amit-ji is also worried about the potential impact of the Trinamul move was clear as he suggested the state leaders to create an alternative narrative.... Suvendu-da goes to all the meetings and refers to the Trinamul-led government as that of thieves. This is, however, not enough,” said a source.

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