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Mamata on 2-day dharna to protest Centre's 'discrimination' against Bengal

West Bengal CM said the two-day sit-in that she started here on Wednesday to protest the BJP-led Union government's alleged discriminatory attitude against the state was on behalf of her party

Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal

Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, West Bengal

Press Trust of India Kolkata

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the two-day sit-in that she started here on Wednesday to protest the BJP-led Union government's alleged discriminatory attitude against the state was on behalf of her party, Trinamool Congress, and not on part of the state government.
Stating that she is doing a "double duty" (as West Bengal chief minister and TMC supremo), Banerjee showed a copy of the Constitution at the protest site and said that the demonstration is also to "save India, save democracy".
"People were asking me whether I am demonstrating on behalf of the state government or the Trinamool Congress. I would like to tell them that I have two responsibilities. I am the CM of West Bengal and also the TMC chairperson. So, as a chief minister when I see the people of my state suffer, it's my responsibility to look into that.
"Since this is the government of the TMC, I will say that I am conducting this demonstration on behalf of my party and not for the state government. You can see my party's symbol," Banerjee said from the dais.
The TMC supremo commenced her sit-in in front of Dr B R Ambedkar's statue on Red Road here earlier in the day to protest against the Centre's alleged "stoppage" of funds to the state for MGNREGA and other schemes of the housing and road departments.
Banerjee, accompanied by senior party leaders Firhad Hakim, Aroop Biswas, Subrata Bakshi, Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay and Chandrima Bhattacharya, reached the venue around noon.
"I am doing double duty. We have several ministers of the state government here. But unlike the BJP, I am not using my government's funds (to stage this demonstration).
"You can see that we have kept a copy of the Constitution' here. So, we must remember that the copy is kept here by those who have respect for it, the democracy and secularism of the nation... From here, I will give a call for 'save India, save democracy'," she said.
The sit-in will continue till 7 pm on Thursday.
Since the CM will not go to the state secretariat 'Nabanna' during the demonstration programme, a temporary office was opened at the venue so that the administrative work is not hampered.
Banerjee had alleged that the Centre has not released funds for the MGNREGA project for the state and other initiatives of its housing and road departments.
"The Centre has stopped releasing funds for MGNREGA and Indira Awas Yojana (Grameen). Besides, it has also stopped scholarships for OBC students," she said on Tuesday while launching a state project to construct 12,000 km of rural roads.
She had also alleged that the "Centre has not released over Rs 7,000 crore, pending under the MGNREGA scheme and has not given work to the state's people despite West Bengal topping the list of states in completing the work under the initiative".
The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MGNREGA) is aimed at enhancing the livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 29 2023 | 8:39 PM IST

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