Mamata Banerjee to miss Trinamool’s MGNREGA protests in Delhi

The party’s general secretary Abhishek Banerjee is likely to head the protests; TMC MPs, MLAs, and leaders from the districts will pay their respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on October 2

September 26, 2023 10:05 pm | Updated 10:05 pm IST - Kolkata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is likely to miss the Trinamool Congress’ (TMC) forthcoming protest in New Delhi as doctors have advised her to take 10 days rest after she suffered an injury to her left knee during a recent trip to Spain and Dubai.

The TMC has planned protests on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 over the denial of funds under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and PM Awas Yojana.

In absence of the Trinamool chairperson, the party’s general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, is likely to head the protests.  “West Bengal stands united against the central government’s injustice, determined to claim what’s rightfully ours,” Mr. Banerjee posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday. “People’s power reigns supreme in democracy,” he added. 

Mr. Banerjee is likely to be joined by TMC MPs, MLAs, and leaders from the districts, to pay their respects to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in Delhi on October 2.

“People of Bengal are raising their voice against injustice! @BJP4India has ruthlessly withheld ₹15,000 crore due to Bengal under the MGNREGA and Awas Yojana. Those adversely impacted have written letters to the PM @narendramodi seeking their rightful dues. Bengal will fight till justice is restored,” the party said its official X handle.

The party leadership has also decided to collect letters from those affected by the denial of funds; lakhs of letters have been collected by the party.

The Union government has stopped funds to the MGNREGA since December 2021 under the Section 29 of the National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) Act of 2005, citing irregularities and corruption in the implementation of the scheme in West Bengal. Ms. Mamata Banerjee had written several letters to the Prime Minister, seeking the release of funds under the scheme. 

A Trinamool Congress delegation led by Mr. Abhishek Banerjee met the Union Minister for Rural Development Giriraj Singh in June 2022. A delegation of TMC leaders is also likely to meet the Minister on October 2 over their forthcoming visit to Delhi.

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