‘BJP scared’: Police manhandled party workers, says Abhishek Banerjee (Lead)
Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Monday alleged manhandling by the police during protest at Rajghat, saying that the BJP is scared and they are using tools because the people have defeated them.
New Delhi, Oct 2 (IANS) Trinamool Congress General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Monday alleged manhandling by the police during protest at Rajghat, saying that the BJP is scared and they are using tools because the people have defeated them.
The Trinamool Congress leaders along with Abhishek Banerjee and other senior leaders and hundreds of workers sat on protest at Rajghat demanding the central government to release the funds of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and other housing schemes here.
Banerjee arrived at Rajghat during the day and first paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary and then along with the party leaders sat in protest against the Central government.
The Trinamool Congress leaders sat on protest at Rajghat with placards reading ‘Release Bengal Funds Now’, ‘Bengal deprived 1 lakh 15 thousand crore families, Rs 15,000 crore owed
After the protest, speaking to media here, the Trinamool Congress General Secretary slammed the BJP government at centre and said, "The way they misbehaved and manhandled it clearly shows that BJP is scared."
He said that they talk about 56 inch chest and being world's biggest party but no one has power to ignore the strength of people if they stand in front of you.
"If the people feel that those who we elected to power have stopped the funds and there is a need to change the government, no one can stop that from happening," the Trinamool Congress MP said.
Slamming the government, he said, "The way in which they used the power and tried to disrupt our peaceful protest was not successful and after our programme we left. We have another protest at Jantar Mantar tomorrow. Around 3,000 to 3,500 MGNREGA job card holders are coming to Delhi for their rights."
He said that the Central government has withheld the money of various job card holders for over two years now.
“We will tell the MoS Sadhvi that you cannot hold the amount of 2 crore people. We will not demand for money if you stop taking GST collection and Income Tax from Bengal,” he said.
"You are only taking money from West Bengal but not giving it to the state. The money belongs to the people of the state. You have deliberately stopped the release of money because the people of Bengal did not elect you, defeated you and rejected you. And the BJP is unable to accept that defeat and thus they are using agencies, election commission, CRPF and other tools. This is not a party's protest but the people's protest," he alleged.
To a question about Union Minister Anurag Thakur saying that the central government has given Rs 2 lakh crore to the state, Banerjee said, "Anurag Thakur said that they gave Rs 2 lakh crore but the question is how much amount have they taken from West Bengal. They have been in power for nine years and they have taken at least Rs 5 to 7 lakh crore from West Bengal. You have taken money from the state."
He also said that on Tuesday, the party will hold protest at Jantar Mantar from 1 pm to 5 pm.
"And at around 5:30 pm, the Trinamool Congress delegation will go to meet Union Minister in Delhi," he said
He also clarified that we will start the meeting at 1 pm as earlier the protest was supposed to start at 9.30 am as the meeting with the minister was scheduled at 12 noon.
"Now the minister in an email said that it cannot take place at 12 noon and the minister will meet at 6 pm that is why we are postponing the meeting by 2 hours. Thus instead of starting at 9.30 am we will start the meeting at 1 p.m," he added.
The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress had decided to hold a protest in the national capital against the alleged denial of MGNREGA and other housing scheme funds by the Central government to the state.
Banerjee, who joined the protest in the national capital on Monday has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with the school teachers recruitment case on Tuesday in Kolkata.
Banerjee has earlier claimed that he would not be honouring the ED notice on this count. “Stop me if you can,” he said wrote on X immediately after receiving the ED notice.
However, on September 29, Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Amrita Sinha directed ED that their scheduled investigation process should not be hampered at any cost and for the sake of carrying forward the investigation the central agency will have the liberty to take any step as per legal provisions.
This order by her, as perceived by observers, has put an indirect pressure on ED to act tough in case Banerjee does not appear at ED’s Salt Lake office in Kolkata on Tuesday.