Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Suvendu Adhikari on Tuesday demanded a CBI probe into the alleged swindling of central funds in the state, as he accused the ruling TMC of being behind the ”big scam”.
The BJP leader alleged here that thousands of village heads belonging to the Trinamool Congress, in connivance with state government officials, have been involved in corruption to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees about centrally-funded works under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act (MGNREGA).
”It is a big scam. It will turn out to be the biggest scam after Independence,” Adhikari claimed, hitting out at ”bua-bhatija”, a reference to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee.
With TMC leaders headed by Lok Sabha MP Abhishek Banerjee protesting here, accusing the Union government of withholding the release of funds to the state under some central schemes, including MGNREGA, Adhikari accused them of indulging in a fabricated campaign.
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The TMC used to be a national party but is now a regional party which is fast losing its base in West Bengal, he claimed, adding that its protest in the national capital is aimed at retrieving its shrinking support base.
It has become TMC’s habit of doing politics on every issue and dreaming of power at the Centre and that is why it has joined the INDIA bloc of ”ghamandia” (arrogant) parties, Adhikari alleged.
These people are staying here in a five-star hotel and doing a drama, he claimed.
The BJP leader alleged that over one crore job cards under the MGNREGA scheme were deleted for various reasons and claimed that thousands of crores of rupees was pocketed by the corrupt functionaries of the ruling party and government officials.
Trinamool Congress members were involved in ”siphoning off” approximately Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore and a substantial portion of these funds found their way into their party office and bank accounts of influential TMC figures, he alleged.
”The TMC is a party of goons. It has a three-point agenda — nepotism, corruption, and appeasement. It has no intention to effectively deliver schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) or MGNREGA to beneficiaries and instead aims to swindle the central funds,” Adhikari said.
To a question about Abhishek Banerjee’s reported statement that his party is ready for a court-monitored probe, the BJP leader described him as the de facto chief minister and said the state government can ask the court for such an investigation.
He criticised the state government for not implementing central schemes like those for crop insurance and health insurance. Rejecting the TMC’s charge of lack of support from the Centre on MGNREGA, Adhikari said the West Bengal government was allocated Rs 14,985 crore during the Congress-led UPA regime and it zoomed to Rs 54,156 crore under the BJP-led NDA government.
During the UPA, the state government received only Rs 4,466 crore under the Indira Awas Yojna while the NDA government provided it Rs 30,000 crore, he said.