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BJP leaders took money from PMAY despite having houses: CM

Mamata said that the state government investigated and cancelled 17 lakh applications

Statesman News Service | Kolkata |

Amid allegations and counter-allegations over irregularities in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), chief minister Mamata Banerjee today slammed the Centre for targeting the Trinamul Congress while turning a blind eye to the corruption by BJP leaders. “BJP leaders have taken the money from PMAY despite having two or three storied buildingsFor political reasons, Centre keeps sending A Team, B Team, A-Z Team. Whenever anything untoward happens, they will send a team from the Centre to probe the matter,” said Miss Banerjee.

Miss Banerjee’s statement came a day after two central teams were set up to visit and investigate the complaints of irregularities in Malda and East Midnapore. The Union rural development ministry had sent a letter to the state government on 3 January informing it about the visit of the central teams. Deputy secretary Shakti Kanti Singh and director Shailesh Kumar of the ministry are leading the teams in Malda and East Midnapore respectively. Miss Banerjee said that the state government investigated and cancelled 17 lakh applications of those possessing one or two-storied houses. “In the past one month, we built 11 lakh houses under the scheme.

The funds from the Centre arrived late and the entire amount was also not sanctioned initially,” she said. Raising the issue of nonpayment of MGNREGA funds Miss Banerjee said: “Bengal is yet to receive funds from Centre for 100 Days’ Work Scheme. Getting central funds for the schemes is the right of states. Central government is being biased against Bengal, even though we have created the most mandays.” “Poor people have worked hard and their dues have been accumulating for the longest time.

Don’t ever think that the Central Government is showing us any sympathy by giving us the funds. It is our right to get the funds. When the Centre takes away the tax then it is their responsibility to return us our share. Getting that share is our right. Despite generating the most mandays in the 100 Days’ Scheme, West Bengal is deprived of funds from the Centre. Why is this happening? We have kept repeating our grievances but they do not pay heed to us,” she added.

Slamming BJP on the issue of fake job cards in 100 Days’ Work Scheme, Miss Banerjee said: “The BJP leaders claim there are 20 lakh fake job cards in Bengal then what about the 69 lakh fake job cards in UP? What about the fake cards in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka? Are you discriminating between states just because your party is in power in that state and you are in Opposition in Bengal? There should be no discrimination. Law should be uniform for all”.

Miss Banerjee also pointed out the fuel price hike. “What about the price of cooking gases? What about employment in the country? Why are you not talking about these pressing issues? Just because you are in power, don’t think you can get away with everything. Always remember this, you might be in power today, tomorrow you might be out of power.”