Union minister of state for rural development Niranjan Jyoti visited Calcutta on Saturday and said the Mamata Banerjee government must act on “corruption” in the implementation of central schemes, denying the allegation that the Narendra Modi government was stifling funds meant for Bengal.
“The Trinamul Congress has been accusing us of step-motherly behaviour to deprive Bengal. I want to show you statistics on how our government has increased allocation manyfold for this state compared to what was being allotted during the UPA’s time. We are ready to release the funds for Bengal but the Mamata Banerjee government has to take action against those involved in corruption in utilising money under the MGNREGA and other schemes,” Jyoti told reporters at the state BJP headquarters on Saturday.
Jyoti visited Bengal four days after a Trinamul delegation headed by Abhishek Banerjee was allegedly manhandled and arrested by Delhi police after they had waited for over three hours for a scheduled meeting with her.
During her whirlwind trip to Calcutta, Jyoti rubbished Trinamul’s allegation that she had “escaped” through the backdoor of her office at Krishi Bhavan in New Delhi to avoid meeting the delegation of Bengal, which had camped in the national capital for two days to protest the central “deprivation” of Bengal, the failure to release the wage dues of 20 lakh workers under the NREGA, and to seek fresh allocation of funds.
“If I had fled to avoid the Trinamul delegation, I would not have come to Bengal to meet you. I might as well have done this from Delhi. The Trinamul leaders changed the members of the delegation several times. Finally, they tried to force me to meet the people (beneficiaries first) despite the MPs being scheduled to meet me,” the minister said.
Jyoti alleged that the state had withdrawn NREGA funds by issuing forged job cards and did not take any action even after repeated warnings.