The Trinamool Congress (TMC) has started to gear up for a dharna in New Delhi, demanding the due Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds from the Centre. Around 50 lakh letters stating the demand have been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On July 21, TMC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee had declared that they will go to New Delhi to demand the money. Although TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee has injured her leg in Spain and has been advised rest, news reports have claimed that she will join in.
All senior TMC leaders have been asked to go to New Delhi on October 2-3.
On October 2, Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek, along with all MPs, MLAs and Panchayat representatives, will go to Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Although it is not in the official schedule, they can sit on the dharna for some time, say sources.
On October 3, the TMC plans to sit on a dharna at Jantar Mantar and visit rural development minister Giriraj Singh’s residence or office. The TMC has already written three letters to the police mentioning their plan and has sought permission. There is no clarity on the permission yet.
We are resolute in our commitment to combat any injustice inflicted upon the people of Bengal. No matter the challenges we face, we will confront oppressive forces and uphold the rights of our people! pic.twitter.com/jyNM2iaI35
— All India Trinamool Congress (@AITCofficial) September 26, 2023
MGNREGA A NATIONAL ISSUE?
According to the TMC, for the past two years, the Central Government has not given out tthe MGNREGA funds.
TMC sources say they have raised the issue several times and reached out to the Centre. Abhishek had even taken MPs to the Central Ministry office, but nothing came of it. Now they plan to take it to Delhi.
Sources say they want to showcase that just because Bengal is a non-Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state, they are getting stepmotherly treatment.
Secondly, through this movement, they will reach out to rural voters ahead of the Lok Sabha elections to convince them that they are not getting their money because of the Central Government.
MLAs and other senior leaders of the party have been directed to reach Delhi on September 27 to look into the arrangements.
VIDEO ON PROTEST TO PLAY IN EVERY WB VILLAGE
Meanwhile, Abhishek will soon release a video, on why the movement in Delhi is needed, which will be played in every village of Bengal, say sources.
TMC leader and minister Partha Bhowmick told News18: “We will go to Delhi and ask for our money. The entire state will witness this. They have to give back our money.”
Singh has already stated that he will meet the TMC members if he is in Delhi.
The BJP, on the other hand, has blamed corruption. Party leader Suvendhu Adhikary said: “Those are all fake letters made in Camac Street. People wants justice from thieves. We have stopped the thieves, not money. I will write to Giriraj ji to start a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation into MGNREGA.”