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Abhishek Banerjee Leads TMC Protest at Rajghat; BJP Calls it ‘Drama’ to Divert Attention from Scams in Bengal

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Trinamool Congress general secretary Abhishek Banerjee along with party leaders and workers sat on a dharna at Delhi’s Rajghat on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary on Monday demanding the release of funds for West Bengal by the Centre.

The Lok Sabha member, accompanied by party leaders including MPs, MLAs and state ministers who had arrived from West Bengal, paid tributes to Gandhi at the memorial and held the protest for two hours, sporting black armbands and displaying placards, after which they were escorted out by security personnel.

”They are scared that is why they are doing this… They talk about being a big party, but it is now visible that they are scared,” Banerjee told media persons outside Rajghat before he and other TMC protesters were asked to clear the area.

The TMC lashed out at the central government for ”stopping” it from holding a ”peaceful protest” and alleged that the protesters were heckled and manhandled by the security personnel.

The BJP hit back accusing the TMC of committing theft of government funds. Union Minister Anurag Thakur alleged that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has sent her party leaders under a ”corrupt and tainted” MP to stage the protest to divert the public attention from the ”numerous scams” that took place in her state.

At a press conference, Thakur dismissed TMC’s allegations that the state’s funds were being withheld and claimed there was no shortage of money for the centrally-sponsored schemes in West Bengal.

The BJP also fielded its state leaders, including unit president Sukanta Majumdar, Union minister Subhas Sarkar and MP Locket Chatterjee, who accused TMC of doing a ”drama” in Delhi.

Majumdar made light of Abhishek Banerjee’s charge that the BJP has been trying to scuttle his party’s protests, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi was not that idle to target a ”petty leader” such as the TMC’s heir apparent.

Abhishek Banerjee later visited Lal Bahadur Shastri’s memorial Vijay Ghat and paid tributes to the former prime minister on his birth anniversary.

At Gandhi’s samadhi, Banerjee held a placard demanding that the Centre ”release fund for Bengal”. Another placard read ’Bengal Deprived: 1 lakh 15 thousand crore families, Rs. 15,000 crore owed’.

The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has accused the BJP-led NDA government of withholding Rs 15,000 crore in dues to the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and PM Awas Yojana.

The demonstration was held for about two hours, after which the TMC leaders were escorted out by security personnel. Banerjee addressed the media outside Raj Ghat but loudspeakers were used by police to ask the TMC leaders and supporters to move out of the area.

”Our leaders peacefully protesting for the rights of the people were abruptly asked to leave by the police. All Shri Abhishek Banerjee asked for was ten minutes, but was ungracefully refused. What is the BJP-led Central Government scared of?” the Trinamool Congress said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

They also shared a video of a police official asking the TMC leaders to leave.

The party leaders alleged that derogatory remarks were made by an IPS officer about the peaceful protest and that women leaders were ”manhandled” by police.

”It is deeply disheartening to witness such a lack of respect for the democratic process and the voices of the people under the BJP-led central government,” Trinamool Congress said in a post on X.

”Raising our voice for people’s rights is labelled as Tamasha. On Gandhi Jayanti, all we sought was a peaceful dharna for the betterment of our people. However, the anti-people BJP-led central government chose to silence us,” the party alleged.

Speaking to the media before leaving the area, Banerjee said the BJP government is ”scared”.

The TMC leaders and supporters will stage a protest at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday over the issue.

The party claimed that over 50 lakh letters have been brought by the protesters from West Bengal that are addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the non-payment of dues.

TMC sources said letters will also be brought from BJP-ruled Assam, Goa, Tripura and Meghalaya highlighting alleged corruption in central schemes.

Biswajit Dev, a spokesperson of the Trinamool Congress and member of the party’s state committee, accused the Centre of destroying the rural employment scheme MGNREGA and said it’s an insult to Mahatma Gandhi, after whom the scheme has been named.

”Is this democracy? Centre is using schemes for political benefits,” he alleged.

”This is an insult to the poor people and to Mahatma Gandhi after whom MNREGA has been named,” Dev told PTI.

Chaiti Barman Barua, a TMC leader from Coochbihar, said they have come to Delhi to make their voice heard.

Joy Banerjee, who came from Purulia in West Bengal, alleged that the many trains and flights on which the TMC leaders were scheduled to travel to Delhi were cancelled.

”We are here to make our voices heard by the Centre, not for any confrontation. Why is the BJP so worried?” he said.

TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee was scheduled to attend the programme in New Delhi, but is unlikely to do so as she has been advised ten days of rest by doctors after she suffered an injury in her left knee during a recent trip to Spain and Dubai.

The chief minister held a two-day sit-in in March this year against the Centre’s alleged move of ”not releasing funds” to the state for MGNREGA and other welfare schemes.

Union Minister Anurag Thakur targeted the TMC saying its leaders ”have come to Delhi under the leadership of a tainted party MP, who himself is accused of several corruption charges and is currently under the investigation by the ED”.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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Lok Sabha Polls Will Be Dynastic Politics & Corruption Versus Development Fight: Nadda

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BJP national president JP Nadda. (PTI/File)

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the LS polls

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president JP Nadda has said the upcoming Lok Sabha elections will be a battle between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Addressing party workers from Mumbai’s western suburbs during his visit to the metropolis on Wednesday, Nadda said under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, India is well on its way to become the third largest economy in the world from fifth now.

Attacking anti-BJP opposition parties, he alleged that they were either dynastic or steeped in corruption.

“You have to reach out to voters and seek their support for a fresh mandate (for BJP at the Centre). First-time voters in the last ten years have seen only development and not corruption like previous governments,” Nadda asserted, referring to the decade-long rule of the Modi administration that started in 2014.

He said the Lok Sabha elections, likely to be held in April-May, will be a fight between dynastic politics and corruption on one side and development on the other.

Dynastic politics and corruption will lead to destruction, Nadda said and highlighted the BJP’s development agenda.

Earlier in the day, Nadda met BJP office-bearers from all the 36 assembly constituencies in Mumbai besides party MPs and MLAs from the metropolis.

In his address, Nadda asked BJP leaders from Mumbai to ensure the party ideology reaches the last person in society and urged them to give a befitting reply to opposition attacks on the saffron outfit and its government.

He advised BJP leaders to extensively use social media and seek support of prominent personalities on issues of public interest.

Nadda also chaired the Election Management Committee’s meetings for all the six Lok Sabha constituencies in Mumbai as part of preparations for the national polls.

In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP and its then-ally, the undivided Shiv Sena, won three seats each in Mumbai. In the Maharashtra assembly polls held in October that year, the BJP won 16 of the 36 seats in the city, while 14 were bagged by the Sena.

The state, where the BJP is in power in alliance with the Shiv Sena led by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and the Ajit Pawar-headed NCP, has a 288-member legislative assembly.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18

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BJP Says Rahul ‘Unhinged’: Will OBC Politics Work? | Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Rahul Gandhi |News18One OBC (Narendra Modi) being the prime minister does not solve the problem, says M Kumaramangalam Nehru stopped the Caste Census and said that it would divide the country, BJP’s Shehzad hits back



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BJP to Release Documentary on Alleged Atrocities Against Women in West Bengal’s Sandeshkhali

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Last Updated: February 21, 2024, 23:05 IST

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am (Image: X/BJP)

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections

The BJP is set to release a documentary on Sandeshkhali on Thursday with the party intensifying its attack on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led TMC government over the alleged incidents of atrocities and sexual assault on women there.

The “exclusive” documentary titled ‘The Sandeshkhali Socker – The Big Reveal’ will be released Thursday morning at 9 am, the BJP said in post on X, asking Banerjee in Bangla, “Didi ke bolo aaro koto ‘Sandeshkhali’ (Tell didi how many more Sandeshkhali like incidents)”.

This comes amid a raging war of words between the BJP and the TMC over alleged incidents of rape and harassment of women in Sandeshkhali in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

The riverine Sandeshkhali area — situated on the borders of the Sunderbans, about 100 kilometres from Kolkata — has been witnessing protests after the local women accused absconding Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his supporters of land grab and sexual assault under coercion.

Interestingly, ‘Didi Ke Bolo’ is a campaign launched by the TMC after the 2019 Lok Sabha polls to provide a platform for the people of West Bengal to directly raise their concerns or lodge complaints with Chief Minister Banerjee.

The TMC’s move was reportedly aimed at countering the BJP in the state.

(This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – PTI)



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