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TMC Protests Over Central Funds in Delhi; BJP Calls it ‘Drama’, Act To Divert Attention From Scams | Updates – News18

Trinamool Congress (TMC) general secretary Abhishek Banerjee and other senior leaders and MPs of Mamata Banerjee government sat in a dharna, starting Monday night on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, alleging non-payment of funds by the Centre in various central schemes in West Bengal.

The BJP, however, called the protest a “drama” by the Trinamool government and said that Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has sent a corrupt MP to hold protests in Delhi to divert attention from scams committed in her state.

Let’s Look At Some Key Updates

TMC to Visit Krishi Bhawan Today

Furthermore, TMC is slated to visit Krishi Bhawan today, while in Kolkata, BJP MLA’s will stage a protest outside the Assembly around noon. Insider reports suggest that Suvendu Adhikari will have a meeting with the MoS Rural, during which he will detail how TMC has redistributed Bengal’s MGNREGA funds.

BJP Alleges TMC of Committing ‘Theft’ of Funds

The BJP denied the TMC allegations and accused it of committing “theft” of government funds. Addressing a press conference at BJP HQ, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur gave details of the funds provided to West Bengal and alleged that Trinamool chief has sent her party leaders under a “corrupt and tainted” MP to stage a protest on the issue.

No Shortage of Fund for Central Schemes: Anurag Thakur

Thakur said there was no shortage of funds for implementation of centrally sponsored schemes in West Bengal but they were stopped after central teams flagged some irregularities in the implementation of rural job scheme MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana and the state government did not take any action against those found involved despite several reminders.

“There have been scams after scams in West Bengal under Mamata Banerjee government like Narada scam, Saradha scam, Rose Valley scam, coal scam, etc. In 2019, the chief minister had herself sat on a dharna to create hindrance in the probe,” the Union minister charged.

Central Concern over Non-Implementation of Schemes

Union Rural Development Minister and BJP leader Giriraj Singh listed the Centre’s concerns with the state’s implementation of work under the MGNREGA and the PM Awas Yojana and accused the Mamata Banerjee government of not taking action against irregularities.

“Isn’t it true that the Rural Development Ministry has reminded the West Bengal government time and again of corruption and irregularities but it could never provide a satisfactory response? Isn’t it true that the state has always failed in acting against corrupt officials and ministers,” Singh asked.

BJP Ministers Target Bengal Leaders

The BJP also fielded its state leaders, including West Bengal unit president Sukanta Majumdar, Union minister Subhas Sarkar and MP Locket Chatterjee, to target the TMC at a press conference and defend the Centre.

Majumdar made light of Abhishek Banerjee’s charge that the BJP has been trying to scuttle his party’s protests in the national capital and his criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He said Modi was not that idle to target a “petty leader” such as the TMC’s heir apparent.

Central Funds Stopped After Fund Diverted For Other Activity

The central government has stopped the payments under the MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) because funds were earlier diverted to works not permissible by the Act, the BJP leader said, claiming that political considerations influenced its implementation in the state. A central probe found irregularities and asked the state government to recover the money, Majumdar said, alleging that money was credited into bank accounts created under falsified lists.

The Centre wrote to the state for compliance numerous times but its action-taken report had no mention of action taken against violations on nearly 15 points as highlighted by the probe team, he alleged.

TMC Doing Circus, Says BJP

What Abhishek Banerjee is doing here is nothing but “drama”, Majumdar said. Locket Chatterjee said the TMC was doing a “circus” in Delhi while its government in West Bengal was engaged in corruption.

Majumdar said the state government has acknowledged the violation of rules and has even made recovery in some cases but is not acting against the guilty. “They are saying theft has happened but they refuse to catch the thieves,” he added.

Union minister Sarkar said the Centre has invoked appropriate laws to stop the payment due to the lack of transparency and the absence of action against violations.

Even under the central government’s housing scheme for the poor, those with political links got the money despite having multi-storey homes while the needy were denied the benefits, he alleged.

NDA Gave More Money Than UPA For Central Schemes

The BJP leader asserted that the Modi government has spent much more money than the previous UPA government in West Bengal under these schemes.

The Rural Development Ministry spent more than Rs 2 lakh crore in over nine years under the Modi government while the expenditure was only Rs 58,000 crore under the UPA’s 10 years.

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