TMC's mega MGNREGA protest in Delhi today; 'denied' train, supporters reaching on buses. Top points
TMC has called for the two-day 'Dilli Cholo: A fight for our rights!' protest to raise chorus for payment of alleged arrears under MGNREGA scheme.
The Trinamool Congress is set for a showdown with the Centre with a two-day protest in New Delhi beginning on Monday over the alleged delay in the release of funds under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana to the West Bengal government.
While the Trinamool Congress (TMC) was reportedly yet to get permission to protest at Jantar Mantar, the party will hold a peaceful sit-in by its MPs and state ministers at Rajghat on October 2, on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and a peaceful rally of the MGNREGA job card holders the next day. Both the programmes will be live-streamed, news agency PTI reported.
The TMC has called for the two-day 'Dilli Cholo: A fight for our rights!' protest in the national capital to raise the chorus for the payment of alleged arrears for 100 days of work under the MGNREGA scheme.
Top points on TMC's two-day protest in Delhi:
1. While TMC’s national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee reached New Delhi on Sunday, 49 busloads of his party supporters are slated to reach the national capital on Monday.
2. Banerjee said the idea of staging a protest over the alleged delay in the release of funds under MNREGA came during the Nobo Jowar Yatra in West Bengal, news agency ANI reported citing sources. They said during the yatra, Banerjee learned about the significant adverse impact on the state's residents due to the central government's withholding of funds.
3. The TMC MP has alleged that there were several attempts to block the protest by declining permissions, and cancelling trains and flights. Banerjee also said the permission for the protest at Jantar Mantar was given verbally and written permission was still pending. "Section 144 has been imposed in that area (Jantar Mantar)," he added.
4. On Sunday, the party's top leaders, including Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Dola Sen and Babul Supriyo, met at TMC MP Sougata Roy's residence to discuss the strategy for Monday's protest. Following the meeting, Bandopadhyay said, "Tomorrow, we will be going to Raj Ghat to pay the obesience to Mahatma Gandhi. We will start our protest from there. MGNREGA, which is a vital objective of our protest, has a symbolic relation with Gandhiji. Hence we are starting the protest from there."
5. In the evening, Banerjee will hold a press conference. Following that, the party will inform about its schedule on October 3 in detail, he said.
6. The buses were mobilised by the regional party after the Indian Railways refused to rent out special trains to take the workers to Delhi pleading unavailability of rakes. The TMC claimed the denial of trains as well as cancellations of a flight to New Delhi were part of an attempt by the ruling BJP party to scuttle its demonstration.
7. Banerjee has demanded the arrest of Union rural development and panchayati raj Minister Giriraj Singh following the deaths of three children in Bankura district in a mud house collapse recently, claiming that the deaths could have been avoided if the family had received due financial aid under the government housing scheme to build brick and mortar housing. Banerjee claimed that Giriraj Singh has expressed his inability to meet the TMC representatives as he would not be in the national capital, though he is scheduled to meet BJP MPs from Bengal.
8. Meanwhile, several Trinamool Congress workers were injured when one of the 49 buses taking them to Delhi to take part in a protest met with an accident in Jharkhand on Sunday.
9. BJP West Bengal president Sukanta Majumdar claimed that while TMC leaders were travelling by aeroplanes, the protesters were being made to take buses to Delhi.
10. TMC MP Sougata Roy alleged that the ruling BJP at the Centre was trying to foil the TMC's protests by way of denial of train bookings and cancellations of flights. "People of the country should see how the BJP is trying to thwart our programme," he told reporters.
(With inputs from agencies)