Kolkata (West Bengal): Trinamool Congress (TMC) General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee slammed PIL (Public Interest Litigation) activists before leaving for Delhi to protest against the central government for stopping disbursement of funds to West Bengal, saying that PIL has become "Political Interest Litigation" at present.
"For those who file PIL in the High Court every now and then, today PIL has become Political Interest Litigation instead of Public Interest Litigation. I want to ask them why have they not filed any PIL against the stoppage of central government funds to the workers who worked for 100 days, for AWAS even after two years?" Banerjee said speaking to reporters on Sunday.
On Union Minister not meeting with the TMC delegation despite being present in Delhi, Banerjee said, "Giriraj Singh is in Delhi and is not meeting TMC representatives who are going to Delhi. Earlier when we went to meet Giriraj Singh at his office, he did not meet us despite being present. This shows the callous attitude of BJP to the people West Bengal."
Abhishe Banerjee also reminded that Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Sukanto Majumda had earlier boasted that money will be transferred to Bengal in a phone call.
"BJP state president Sukanto Majumdar had earlier said that money will be transferred in a phone call," Banerjee said.
Banerjee said that the TMC will not be deterred by the BJP's arm-twisting tactics and will fight till the end.
"They are trying to stop us from protesting by cancelling train at the last moment, not giving permission to protest. They have stopped money to Bengal because they lost here. This is not done. We will fight till the end," he said.
Speaking on the children who died in a wall collapse in West Bengal's Bankura district, Banerjee said, "The ones responsible for their death are Narendra Modi, Giriraj Singh and BJP leaders from here (West Bengal). They have gone to Delhi and pleaded to stop disbursement of funds to Bengal...There should be a proper investigation and those like Giriraj Singh should be arrested."
On the central government allegedly stopping money to West Bengal under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the TMC leader said, "20000 crore is being spent on the Prime Minister's residence and they have stopped 1.5 lakh for people's residences...They feel that they will stay in power forever...But in a democracy people have the final say."
Claiming that the BJP has stopped money to the state after it lost in the last West Bengal Assembly elections, Banerjee said, "TMC does not discriminate between places where they won or lost...Why is only Bengal's money being stopped? Have they stopped money in Assam? There are reports of scams in Assam as well."
Speaking on the alleged scams in West Bengal, he said, "If there has been any scam there should be a thorough investigation against it. But stopping money of more that 2 crore job card holders is not done. They have been doing this for the last two years."
Abhishek Banerjee also stressed that the money that the central government has not disbursed to the state is Bengal's right and not Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "ancestral property".
"They say Modiji has sent money. This is not his ancestral money. They collect 1 lakh crore from Bengal through Income Tax and GST. This is Bengal's right," he said.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Minister of Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Firhad Hakim who is also en route to Delhi to participate in the protest at the national capital said, "We are going to Delhi under the leadership of Abhishek Banerjee, this money (100 days of employment) belongs to the poor people and injustice has been done to them by not giving them their money. They (Central Government) will have to pay their dues".
"Yesterday, Abhishek Banerjee said that you (Centre) can put numerous allegations on us but you should not do injustice to the people of West Bengal. It is a very good thing that all TMC leaders have decided to go to Delhi and raise this issue...," TMC leader Babul Supriyo who is also one of the state leaders going to Delhi for the protest said.