TMC demands release of funds for central schemes in LS; minister hits back
TMC MP Sudip Bandhopadhyay said the Centre should release the state’s dues under MGNREGA and PM Awas Yojana
NEW DELHI: The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Monday asked the central government to release funds for the rural jobs guarantee and housing schemes, accusing the Centre of imposing an “economic blockade” against the West Bengal government, a charge that was promptly rebutted by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan who alleged corruption in implementation of central schemes.
TMC Member of Parliament (MP) Sudip Bandhopadhyay raised the issue during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha on Monday, saying the Centre should release the state’s dues under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) and PM Awas Yojana.
“We are keen to place our demand to the Prime Minister of India and we hope this issue is discussed on the floor of the House without further delay and economic blockade should not be allowed to be created.,” Bandhopadhyay said.
The TMC lawmaker added that money allotted under MNREGA amounting to ₹18,000 crore had been blocked over the last two years. Some MPs and state ministers came to Delhi to meet minister of state Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti but they were kept waiting. “And ultimately after 2.5 hours, when we went for the meeting, she left by the back door. We were lifted bodily and taken 20km away from Delhi,” TMC’s Bandhopadhyay said, a reference to protests by lawmakers and state ministers at Rajghat and Krishi Bhavan in Delhi on October 2 and 3.
TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee led the protests.
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan countered Bandhopadhyay, saying the Trinamool Congress was actually worried that the party’s leadership would also end up in jail for corruption.
“They take money meant for the poor people of West Bengal from the central government, they keep their cut money, that is the reason. All states in the country remain in the financial system, Bengal thinks it is above it, the state government thinks they are above it,” Pradhan said.
“In the PM Poshan Yojana (Mid-day meal scheme), they (West Bengal Govt) have misappropriated ₹4000 crore and the government of India has given the inquiry to the CBI. Everything will come out. It is their fault.. Half a dozen ministers are in jail and they are scared that their leadership will also be sent to jail,” he said.
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