Abhishek Banerjee tore into the BJP yet again on Sunday over the frozen central funds due to Bengal, accusing the saffron regime of attempting to force the state’s masses into starvation after losing the 2021 Assembly elections.
On his way to Delhi, the Trinamul Congress national general secretary dared
the Narendra Modi government to stop the protest programmes at the national capital, accusing the Prime Minister of running a dictatorship and reminding the BJP that it would not remain in power forever.
“Even if a thousand Narendra Modis or 10,000 BJP leaders come to stop us, they will fail. This fight is not limited to the protests on October 2 and 3, but will continue until the funds are released,” said chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s nephew, who claimed that the never-ending tragic tale of step-motherly treatment towards Bengal had begun in 1911 when the colonial British government had shifted the capital of undivided India from Calcutta to Delhi.
“The PM’s house was built using Rs 20,000 crore, but poor people were deprived of Rs 1.5 lakh for housing…. This is a dictatorship,” he said.
“They (the BJP) think they will remain in power forever. If they think that they will torture and deprive the people of their rights, the people will give a befitting answer democratically,” added the Diamond Harbour MP.
Trinamul has dispatched 50 lakh letters from Bengal’s MGNREGS job cardholders, addressed to Modi and Union rural development minister Giriraj Singh, over its core demand of the release of funds due to the state by the BJP-led Centre. Trinamul claims Bengal has central dues amounting to over Rs 1.15 lakh crore, of which around Rs 7,000 crore is on account of the 100-day employment guarantee scheme.
In Delhi, Abhishek went into a huddle with the party’s MPs and ministers at Dum Dum MP Saugata Roy’s residence in the evening, to discuss strategy ahead of the party’s protest programmes on Monday and Tuesday.
The protest programmes in Delhi — conceived by the aunt-nephew duo in March — have already undergone several rounds of changes in plan.
Mamata’s injury to her already-injured left knee, which she sustained during her Spain visit last month, has compelled her to miss the programmes at the national capital. That is why Abhishek is going to solely lead them.
At the Calcutta airport, he went on to attack the saffron camp over a recent public boast by BJP state unit chief Sukanta Majumdar, of one phone calls from him to
the Centre that would ensure the release of funds due to Bengal.
“He (Majumdar) recently told journalists that there is no point in a protest movement in Delhi. He publicly confirmed that one phone call from him would lead to the disbursal of funds for Bengal,” said Abhishek.
“From their actions, it becomes abundantly clear that their only objective is to starve the people of Bengal…. They want to snatch our right to even protest against their atrocities. From cancelling our train and flight to Delhi, to denying permission for a meeting with the Union minister, they have tried everything to stop us,” he added.
“Political fights should be limited to elections.”