Last Updated: October 04, 2023, 13:32 IST
Kolkata [Calcutta], India
The TMC will hold demonstrations across West Bengal on Wednesday to protest against the detention of its national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, after a sit-in at the Union Rural Development Ministry office in Delhi a day before.
The development marks an escalation in the ongoing conflict between the Centre and the West Bengal government over the release of funds under the MGNREGA and other schemes to the state.
The TMC had conducted protests in the national capital on October 2 and 3 when their leaders were detained.
The party expressed outrage at the treatment of its leaders, stating that it will “hold protest rallies across the state on Wednesday against the barbaric attitude of the BJP-led Union government”.
“We were conducting peaceful protests, and our leaders were being manhandled and detained by the police. Effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh will be burnt in all the blocks of the state,” the party said.
The ruling party in West Bengal on Thursday will organise a march to Raj Bhavan where it will submit “50 lakh letters from deprived MGNREGA card holders”, which it wanted to present to the Union Rural Development ministry on Tuesday but couldn’t.
The TMC’s youth wing, in collaboration with the main unit, will organise protest programmes in all the blocks of the state.
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee too had condemned the incident as a “dark day of democracy”.
Abhishek Banerjee, along with party lawmakers, state ministers and supporters, including MGNREGA workers, protested at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Tuesday, a day after they held a two-hour sit-in at the Rajghat on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary before being evicted by the police.
They later took out a march to the Rural Development Ministry at the Krishi Bhawan, where they had an appointment with Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.
However, around an hour and a half after going to the Bhawan, TMC leaders claimed that the MoS refused to meet them, saying she would not meet more than five representatives.
The TMC leaders, who had brought with them bundles of letters addressed to the prime minister and the rural development minister, refused to leave till the MoS met them.
Led by Abhishek Banerjee, a group of TMC leaders sat on a dharna, which continued till around 9 pm, after which they were detained by the police and evicted from the ministry premises. They were released later. In response to the TMC’s protest plans, BJP spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said it was an attempt to “prolong the drama that the party had started in New Delhi”.
“The TMC wanted to create a scene to garner media coverage. Their purpose has been served in New Delhi, and now they want to continue that drama in Bengal for political mileage,” he added.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)