West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has started a 30-hour sit-in dharna spread over two days in Kolkata on Wednesday (March 29) in protest against the BJP-led Union government’s alleged discrimination in allotment of funds to her state.
She is staging the demonstration in front of Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue on Red Road in central Kolkata, and will continue the dharna till the evening of Thursday (March 30).
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee sits on two days Dharna starting from today against the Central government for not clearing funds for several schemes including 100 days work. pic.twitter.com/NWqFeQmGod
— ANI (@ANI) March 29, 2023
With panchayat elections likely to be held within a couple of months, political activity has intensified in West Bengal.
The BJP too has decided to hold a dharna against ‘corruption’ and the Congress has announced a protest march against disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as Lok Sabha MP.
Mamata alleged that the Centre has not released funds for the MGNREGA project for the state and other initiatives of its housing and road departments.
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“The Centre has stopped releasing funds for MGNREGA and Indira Awas Yojana (Grameen). Besides, it has also stopped scholarships for OBC students,” she said on Tuesday, while launching a project to construct 12,000 km of rural roads.
Launching the Pathashree-Rastashree scheme ahead of panchayat elections due later this year, Mamata said the entire expenditure of ₹3,750 crore for constructing the rural roads would be borne by the state and not the central government.
Politics at work?
“The Centre has not released over ₹7,000 crore pending under the MGNREGA scheme and has not given work to our people despite West Bengal topping the list of states in completing the work under the initiative We believe jealousy or politics may be the reason behind this,” she said.
Also read: Mamata’s U-turn: Why Bengal government has softened position on NEP 2020
Meanwhile, the BJP and the Congress too are planning protests in the city. While BJP leaders will hold a day-long sit-in at Shyambazar during which they will target the ruling Trinamool over corruption allegations, the Congress has announced a march from the state party headquarters to Park Circus to protest against the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi from the Lok Sabha.
(With Agency inputs)