A woman drops a letter to Narendra Modi in one of eight boxes set up near the venue of Amit Shah’s rally in Calcutta on Wednesday.
The letter in printed form has a list of central schemes. A person has to put a tick mark beside the central scheme(s) he or she has been deprived of along with their name, address and mobile number. The move was taken by the BJP to counter the Trinamul Congress’s strategy to carry thousands of letters to Delhi demanding the release of central funds to Bengal.
The letters were addressed to the Prime Minister. Trinamul had carried out demonstrations in New Delhi in October to press the Centre to release frozen funds. The protests were spearheaded by Trinamul national general-secretary Abhishek Banerjee. Hundreds of people who are deprived of the central schemes also took part in the protests.
Trinamul claims Bengal has central dues amounting to over Rs 1.15 lakh crore, of which around Rs 15,000 crore is on account of the MGNREGS and the Awas Yojana. At the end of the Delhi agitation, Abhishek had said Trinamul would pay the dues of MGNREGS job card-holders who took in the protest by November 30 if the Centre didn’t pay the amounts by then.
Accordingly, Abhishek’s office started sending letters and assistance to the protesters. The BJP’s letter boxes were part of the party’s campaign to blunt the Trinamul narrative.