‘Why this apathy’: TMC questions Centre on excluding Bengal from migrants’ employment scheme
Bengal’s Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee alleged that the state had been “intentionally” left out of the PM Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan .Updated: Jun 22, 2020 21:42 IST
The Trinamool Congress on Monday questioned the Centre’s criterion for selecting districts to be covered under the recently-launched Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan and sought an answer as to why West Bengal has been left out of the scheme.
Abhishek Banerjee, senior party leader and nephew of Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, posted a tweet on Monday afternoon questioning the Modi government’s “apathy towards the people of Bengal.”
“Shri @narendramodi Ji, why have you blatantly ignored the concerns of 11 Lakh migrant workers from #Bengal who’ve recently returned to their homes. Why has WB been left out of the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan? Why this apathy towards the people of Bengal?” tweeted Banerjee.
The Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan was launched on June 20 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide employment to migrant workers affected by the Covid-19 lockdown,. It will cover 116 districts spread across six states - Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Odisha. All these districts have received more than 25,000 migrant workers during the lockdown.
Bengal’s Panchayat minister Subrata Mukherjee alleged that the state had been left out “intentionally”.
“The Centre could have simply checked the details provided by people who returned to Bengal in the Shramik Special trains. It is apparent that Bengal was left out intentionally,” said Mukherjee.
On Sunday, TMC’s member of Parliament Mahua Moitra had also criticised the Centre. “Much hyped Garib Kalyan Rojgar Yojana sounds suspiciously like watered down version of MNREGA,” Moitra had tweeted.
The ruling TMC is not the only party in the state to have criticised the Centre and the Bharatiya Janata Party on this issue.
CPM politburo member Md Salim believes this is a “mock fight between the TMC and the BJP.”
“The BJP government has never catered to the interests of the poor so this is not a surprise. Since the assembly polls will be held next year, this will add to the mock fight between the TMC and BJP. The BJP is not bothered about employment,” he said.
Defending the Centre’s decision to not include Bengal in the scheme, party national secretary Rahul Sinha hit back at the state government, saying it had “never shown any interest in the welfare of the poor.”
“The TMC government has not implemented important Central schemes such as Ayushman Bharat that benefits the poor. This government was reluctant to call back migrant workers and treated them with apathy once they came home. Has the TMC government ever shown any interest in welfare of the poor?” said Sinha.
The issue of Bengal’s exclusion from the scheme is likely to figure at an all-party meeting that CM Banerjee has called on Wednesday to discuss the Covid-19 crisis and related issues.