Published By: Pragati Pal
Last Updated: December 11, 2023, 23:54 IST
Kolkata [Calcutta], India
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. (Image: PTI/File)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently announced during a rally in Chhattisgarh that the provision of free ration under the public distribution system will be extended for five years beyond December, benefitting around 80 crore people
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday claimed that if the BJP wins next year’s Lok Sabha polls, it will forget its promise of extending free ration for five years. Accusing the Centre of taking all the money away in the name of GST and not giving the state’s share, she said if this BJP government continued to be in power, then it would take away everything from everyone.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently announced during a rally in Chhattisgarh that the provision of free ration under the public distribution system will be extended for five years beyond December, benefitting around 80 crore people. Speaking at a public distribution programme in Jalpaiguri district, the Trinamool Congress chief hit out at the saffron party for “failing” to keep its electoral promise of reopening five shut tea gardens in the Darjeeling hills.
She said her government will take over six closed tea gardens in Jalpaiguri district and provide a monthly aid to the workers. “With elections due in a few months, the PM is promising free ration. When they lose the election, they will be nowhere to keep their promise. And even if they win, they will forget their promise. What happened to their promise of transferring Rs 15 lakh to every citizen’s bank account?” she said.
Banerjee junked Centre’s claims that the West Bengal government was allocated more money for rural development schemes. “We thought that one nation, one tax would do good (to everyone). But now, we are seeing that they (the Centre) are taking away all the money and giving nothing to Bengal,” she said.
“If this BJP government continues at the Centre, they will take away everything from everybody and give nothing to the poor,” she said. “Before the last elections, the BJP had promised to reopen five closed tea gardens in the hills. What happened to that? You do not keep your promises, but we keep ours,” she said. Banerjee directed the district administration to initiate the distribution of pattas (land rights documents) after reviewing the current status of surplus land in closed tea gardens.
“We will take over six non-operational tea gardens and the workers will get a monthly assistance of Rs 1,500 each,” she said. A senior state government official said Raipur, Rheabari, Dharanipur, Surendranagar and Red Bank tea gardens in Jalpaiguri are shut.
Banerjee had on Monday distributed land pattas to tea garden workers as well as to those staying in refugee colonies. Alleging that the Centre was not releasing Rs 7,000-crore due to West Bengal for different schemes like 100 days’ work, Awas Yojana and rural roads, Banerjee said she will go to New Delhi next week to seek the release of funds.
Banerjee said she has already sought an appointment with the PM in this regard. “Bengal will not bow in front of anyone. The BJP-led central government has not released Rs 7,000-crore dues to us for different schemes including 100 days work, Awas Yojana and rural roads. I feel sad about that. I will be in Delhi from December 18 to 20 to seek release of this money. This is our constitutional right. I have sought an appointment with the Prime Minister in this regard,” she said.
During her Delhi visit, the TMC supremo is likely to participate in the INDIA coalition meeting on December 19, party sources said. She alleged the BJP government was spending on advertisements and trying to take all the credit for the ‘Har Ghar Nal Yojana 2023’ though the state government bore 75 per cent cost of the project.
During her speech, Banerjee asked people to believe in her and not to get influenced by people who promise money to win votes.
(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)