Senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee on September 29 said his party will make alternative arrangements for taking its supporters to Delhi for the October 3 protest programme, accusing the BJP of creating roadblocks after the request for a special train was denied.
The TMC said its request for the special train from West Bengal to New Delhi for the protest programme was declined by the railways. The Eastern Railways contended that it received the request from the IRCTC and unavailability of rakes as sought by it was the reason for denial.
Addressing a press conference, Mr. Banerjee said if the participants of the programme are attacked while travelling to Delhi via BJP-ruled States, there would be repercussions.
"The BJP is deliberately creating roadblocks to stop our protest programme. First, they didn't allow us permission for Ram Leela Maidan, then I was sent a notice to appear before the Enforcement Directorate on that day, and now this refusal of a special train at the last moment," he added.
Noting that West Bengal has around 2.65 crore people who have MGNREGA job cards, he said thousands of them have arrived in Kolkata from various parts of the State to travel to Delhi to demand their dues.
"We applied for the train on September 23 to take them to Delhi. But today, we were denied the permission," he said.
Stating that the TMC will make alternative arrangements for their travel to the national capital, Mr. Banerjee said, "I caution the BJP that if there is any attack on any of the participants, then there would be serious repercussions, and we are not going to tolerate it."
The two-time MP from Diamond Harbour, who is also the nephew of CM Mamata Banerjee, said he was informed that Union Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Giriraj Singh won't be in his office on October 3.
"Giriraj Singh's office informed us that he won't be there on October 3. We have told them that we want to meet his deputy, if he is not in office," he said.
Around 4,000 people were supposed to leave for Delhi on a special train on September 30 booked by the party, TMC leaders said.
As part of the programme in Delhi, the party's MPs, MLAs and leaders from the different districts of West Bengal will pay their homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on his birth anniversary on October 2, they said.
The Chief Minister who was earlier supposed to attend the programme might not travel as she was advised 10 days of rest by doctors after she suffered an injury on her left knee during the recently-concluded two-country visit.