Earlier, TMC MP Derek O'Brien had said that they will contest all the 42 Lok Sabha seats in West Bengal.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the “plight” of MGNREGS workers in West Bengal and urged him to look into it.
In his two-page letter dated 10th February, a copy of which was uploaded on the social media on Monday by Gandhi, he wrote, “Dear Prime Minister, I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you regarding the devastating plight of MGNREGS workers in West Bengal, and their relentless fight for justice.”
Mentioning his recent visit to West Bengal as a part of Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra, the MP said that a delegation of MGNREGS workers from Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity apprised him of the issues faced by them.
“Lakhs of our brothers and sisters have been denied work and wages under MGNREGS due to the stoppage of central funds to West Bengal since March, 2022. I was informed that many workers have not been paid for work completed in 2021 due to shortfall in funds,” he said.
Moreover, there has been a drastic decline in the number of households availing work from 75 lakh in 2021-22 to under 8000 households in 2023-24, he claimed.
“This massive scale down has been brutal on the most vulnerable- women, and SC and ST households. The lack of MGNREGS work and pending wages have forced many to make hard choices- particularly distress migration,” Gandhi said.
Referring to the previous Congress government at the Centre, he said, “Eighteen years ago, the UPA government chose a radical new path of social and economic justice by guaranteeing the right to work for our rural communities. For many, MGNREGS is the only safety net in times of crisis, and an assured livelihood source.”
“In this context, I request the Union Government to facilitate the release of funds to clear pending wages, and ensure that the demand for work is met. I believe that we have a duty to rise above our political differences to uphold social, political and economic justice,” he said.