New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): Lambasting the Centre, Trinamool Congress leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay on Monday alleged, "they tried to attack" the party general secretary Abhishek Banerjee during the TMC's protest against the Modi government for demanding funds for the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and other schemes.
"Just now, they tried to attack Abhishek Banerjee...I was there...The way they tried to attack him (Abhishek Banerjee), shame to this government, we are surprised," Bandyopadhyay said.
Commenting on the alleged attack, TMC general secretary Banerjee said, "These people are scared, that is why they are doing this. Their fear has started showing. Why else would they do such things?"Earlier in the day, while addressing the gathering during the protest at Rajghat in the national capital, he alleged that the "attempts were made" to stop the TMC's two-day protest in Delhi against the denial of MGNREGA and housing scheme funds to the West Bengal government.
"As I said, a lot of attempts were made and a conspiracy was hatched to stop our two-day event in Delhi on 2-3 October. First, permission was not granted. Now we are not being allowed to speak," Banerjee said.
Banerjee arrived at Rajghat and paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary. He also paid floral tributes to the former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri at Vijay Ghat.
Notably, Abhishek 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.
"Stop me if you can," he wrote on X immediately after receiving the ED notice.
There is a war of words between the TMC and the BJP over the funds of MGNREGA with the West Bengal government alleging the Centre of not releasing funds and the BJP opposing the claim.
TMC leader and West Bengal Cabinet Minister Babul Supriyo said that the Centre has stopped the funds for several schemes and called it a move against the "federal structure".
"We did a peaceful protest. I feel that political fights have their own place but you are using agencies in political fights...They have stopped funds (for MGNREGA and other schemes) which is against the federal structure. So, we have come to Delhi..." Babul said.
However, Union Minister Giriraj Singh said that the Central Government has never stopped funds for West Bengal in any scheme.
"...They (West Bengal government) started looting the poor in the name of MGNREGA. In MGNREGA till March 2022, we did the work of giving Rs 54150 crore while in UPA only Rs 14000 crore was received... We never stopped funds in any scheme...," the union minister said.
However, West Bengal Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari claimed that there are 1.30 crore fake job cards under the MGNREGA scheme and demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the matter.
"...Yes, it's a 100 per cent Central Government sponsored scheme (MNREGA). It's a Constitutional project. 1.30 crore fake job cards have already been found by the concerned authority due to the link between Aadhaar and Job Cards. It was a big scam after independence...There should be a CBI probe of the scheme - of 1.30 crore fake job cards (under MNREGA in the state). They (TMC Government in the state) collected funds for the last 10 years...," Adhikari said. (ANI)