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TMC, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti Clash Over MGNREGA Dues; Political Drama in Bengal

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TMC’s sit-in outside Raj Bhavan here for the third consecutive day on Saturday demanding the clearance of the dues to West Bengal under MGNREGA kept Bengal’s political scenario simmering through the day.

Union Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and TMC national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee during the day accused each other of spreading falsehoods at the meeting between the TMC delegates and the central minister in Delhi earlier this week.

Jyoti asserted that the Centre has consistently disbursed MGNREGA dues of West Bengal over nine years and highlighted discrepancies in the utilisation of these funds in certain districts of the state. Expressing her readiness for discussions with TMC, she refuted claims of refusing to meet a TMC delegation in the national capital and accused the ruling party in Bengal of engaging in “political theatrics”.

Her remarks drew a sharp retort from the TMC MP, who slammed the union minister for allegedly spreading falsehoods about a meeting with the party’s delegation in New Delhi and asserted that the TMC is prepared to meet her at the Raj Bhavan to discuss the MGNREGA issue.

Meanwhile, a three-member Trinamool Congress delegation met Governor C V Ananda Bose in Darjeeling on Saturday and urged the clearance of the state’s outstanding financial dues under the 100 days work scheme from the Centre.

They also requested the governor to meet the protesters who are on the indefinite sit-in near the Raj Bhavan under the leadership of TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee since Thursday.

After the closed-door meeting with the TMC delegation, a Raj Bhavan official announced that Bose would take up the matter of MGNREGA dues with the Centre.

Jyoti, who arrived in the city to attend a press conference at the state BJP office, explained that she had wanted to meet the TMC delegation in Delhi but had to wait for nearly two-and-a-half hours. She claimed that the TMC kept changing the number of members in their delegation and accused it of engaging in “political theatrics” rather than in genuine discussion.

Recounting the events of October 3 when the TMC delegation was to meet her in Delhi, she said the party initially proposed a delegation of five members, which later expanded to ten members.

“I agreed to this request too and instructed my office colleagues to make the necessary arrangements. However, at the last minute, the TMC insisted that I meet with the common people who were accompanying them,” she said.

She said that there were complaints of irregularities in the distribution of MGNREGA job cards and the Union Rural Development Ministry had sent several letters to the West Bengal government since 2019.

“But the state government did not take any action”.

The union minister challenged the TMC government to take the matter to court if they believed that the Centre was illegally withholding funds under the scheme. At the same time, she said that it might not pursue legal action due to “concerns about its corruption and the potential for a CBI probe”.

Jyoti expressed her willingness to engage in talks with the TMC delegation at any time but questioned the sincerity of the West Bengal ruling party on the issue. She offered to meet with them while she was in Kolkata.

Banerjee in response suggested that she should come to Raj Bhavan if she wanted to engage in discussions with TMC. “We are open to talks. If she is interested she can come to the Raj Bhavan and we will discuss all the issues. However, we won’t go to the BJP party office to meet her,” Banerjee said.

Criticising the union minister for suggesting a meeting at the state BJP office, he described it as a display of a “zamindari” mindset.

Banerjee along with TMC MPs, MLAs, ministers and MGNREGA job card holders had held protests at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi and headed to the rural development ministry at Krishi Bhawan to meet Jyoti. But they claimed that after waiting for about an hour and a half, the minister declined to meet them and limited their delegation to five members.

He claimed that during their attempted meeting in New Delhi, Jyoti not only made them wait for a long time but also instructed the police to remove them from Krishi Bhawan.

The TMC parliamentarian said that senior BJP leaders, including Giriraj Singh and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, would be compelled to come to Kolkata to meet the TMC agitators in response to public discontent.

Meanwhile, TMC activists led by Banerjee vowed to continue their agitation until the governor meets them at the protest site.

In Darjeeling, senior TMC MP Kalyan Banerjee after the meeting with the governor said that Bose was convinced of the legitimacy of the state’s demands. “We shared our demands with the governor and suggested that he returns to Kolkata to meet Banerjee and the job-card holders who are protesting. He praised Abhishek Banerjee and called him an upcoming leader of the country”.

Kalyan Banerjee said that the governor expressed alignment with the state’s “legitimate demands” and committed to taking up the matter with the union government. “But the governor also said that if there is any political intervention in the matter, he can’t help”.

Reacting to the Darjeeling meeting, Abhishek Banerjee wondered what stopped the governor from coming down to Kolkata and meeting the protestors.

(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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