Capital Chaos: TMC-BJP Rivalry Reaches Delhi as Both Trade Blows Over MGNREGS Funds in Run-Up to 2024 – News18

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TMC leaders Abhishek Banerjee, Mahua Moitra and others protest at Krishi Bhawan in New Delhi. (Twitter @AITCofficial)

While the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC accused the Centre of neglecting Bengal, the BJP pointed to corruption in the state to justify the hold on funds

Delhi had an eventful start to the week as arch rivals BJP and Trinamool Congress descended on the national capital to battle it out over MGNREGS funds. While the Mamata Banerjee-led TMC accused the Centre of neglecting Bengal, the BJP pointed to corruption in the state to justify the hold on funds.

The war of words began as TMC’s Abhishek Banerjee and BJP’s Suvendu Adhikari came to Delhi to meet MoS Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in Delhi.

Banerjee, along with 40 MPs and MLAs, marched to Krishi Bhawan, demanding MGNREGS money. The delegation also carried letters written by people seeking release of the funds. The team claimed that it waited for hours to meet the minister and when they were finally granted an audience, Jyoti said she will meet only five people.

“The minister promised us that she will meet us around 12pm. On Monday, she informed us that she will not be available and asked us to meet her at 6pm on Tuesday. We are still waiting for her and won’t leave till she meets us,” Banerjee said.

However, the day ended in chaos as Delhi Police detained Banerjee and other TMC leaders such as Derek O’Brien and Mahua Moitra following their sit-in protest inside Krishi Bhawan.

On the other hand, even as the TMC leaders scrambled to meet Jyoti, BJP’s Adhikari met the minister and sought legal action against the Mamata Banerjee government. “There are more than a lakh fake job cards in Bengal. We demand a CBI enquiry to look into the scam.”

A day earlier, on October 2, the Trinamool — under the leadership of Abhishek Banerjee — organised a massive protest at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, starting off with a two-hour dharna at Rajghat. To counter this, BJP state president Sukanto Majumdar and leaders Locket Chatterjee and Subhas Sarkar held a press conference in Delhi while Adhikari took to Kolkata’s roads, demanding a CBI probe. This was followed by a press conference by Union minister Anurag Thakur who accused the Bengal government of corruption.

Meanwhile, the TMC showed the new Parliament building to job-card holders they had brought from Kolkata, taking a dig at the Centre for spending money on the structure instead of poor people.

Key Takeaways From the Protests

The Capital showdown has set the pace for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While TMC accused the BJP of ignoring the common man, BJP hit back by blaming Trinamool for corruption which, they said, had hindered people’s access to money.

This was also Abhishek Banerjee’s first solo national movement since he became TMC’s national general secretary as led the delegation in the absence of Mamata Banerjee.

For now, both parties will have to wait for 2024 to see who benefitted from the MGNREGS debate.

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