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Minister requests an inquiry into “PM Cares,” and BJP charges the government with “large-scale theft”

Minister seeks an investigation into "PM Cares," and BJP accuses the state of "large-scale theft"

Suvendu Adhikari, the head of the opposition, asserted that the state administration was simply asked to send an MGNREGA audit report by the federal government, but the request was ignored.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday introduced a motion in the Assembly against the Union government over the alleged withholding of funds intended for the state, alleging that the people of West Bengal are suffering from “political revenge” by the Centre. This prompted the Opposition BJP to stage a walkout in protest.

Soon after state minister Chandrima Bhattacharya said that the “PM Cares Fund” should be investigated, the BJP lawmakers left the room.

The BJP claimed that the Centre has not withheld money under the MGNREGA and the PM Awas Yojana but only wants to stop a “large-scale theft” conducted in the guise of using the funds when the TMC members made the accusation during the motion to debate the problem of financial dues.

Suvendu Adhikari, the leader of the opposition, alleged that the state administration was merely asked to send an MGNREGA audit report by the federal government, but the request was ignored. “Due to widespread corruption in the scheme, the Union government also ceased making payments for the PMAY project. If the theft stops, I will go to Delhi and, if necessary, collect the money, he stated.

In response to the BJP’s allegations of possible abuse of public funds, Minister of State for Finance (Independent charge) Chandrima Bhattacharya questioned whether the “PM CARES Fund” should also be investigated. This caused a commotion and a departure of the House.

According to TMC deputy chief whip Tapas Roy, the Leader of the Opposition behaved dishonourably by gesturing as BJP MLA Asok Dinda applauded, which is unacceptable.

“Such behaviour lowers the dignity and esteem of the House, and such acts pain me,” stated Speaker Biman Banerjee. Every member of the House is hereby requested to uphold decorum and refrain from acting indecently.

During the argument, BJP MLA Hiran Chatterjee used a remark that was deleted by the Speaker. The motion was approved by voice vote without the participation of the opposition MLAs.

Adhikari asserted earlier in the discussion that the majority of the 1.75 crore MGNREGA beneficiaries were undeserving.

The deserving ones were left out, he claimed, while “there have been instances of members of the same family getting different job cards.” Although the theft must be prevented, we don’t want the funds to be held up. Political factors were used to select recipients by you (state).

Adhikari also charged that the TMC administration renamed a number of major programmes.

According to Bhattacharya, the principles of the Constitution dictate that the people, not any political party or individual, should manage the country, and that the Centre and the state should cooperate “in cohesion” under a federal system. Instead of acting as a political activist, one should behave as a citizen.

As far as the claims of corruption go, they were untrue, she continued. Each report that the Centre requested from us was delivered. Even then, the Centre resisted paying the fees.

Later, in response to the TMC’s claim that he danced while staging the walkout by lifting both hands, Adhikari remarked, “The TMC has such a culture. Not us. They are all unfounded assertions.

The TMC administration’s decision to file the motion accusing the Union government of withholding funding follows the party’s increased pressure campaign against the Centre.

Abhishek Banerjee, the general secretary of the TMC, had requested a peaceful sit-in outside of BJP leaders’ homes throughout the state during the July 21 Martyr’s rally in Kolkata. The Calcutta High Court, in a defeat to the ruling party, on Monday prohibited it from organising its demonstration on August 5, stating that such protests could annoy the general public.

Abhishek Banerjee recently stated that the Centre “has blocked Rs 7,500 crore under the MGNREGA scheme and Rs 8,200 crore under the PM Awas Yojana” while running for panchayat elections.

He claimed that the BJP-led federal government was “not releasing funds” for basic housing plans for more than 11 lakh people in Bengal while spending thousands of crores of rupees on projects like Central Vista and the new Parliament building.

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