“Centre making lives of rural poor miserable”: Mamata Banerjee

Debjit Mukherjee, Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that the Centre is making the lives of rural poor miserable by pushing them into a circle of online activities. “The Union government wants to introduce a total online system in the lives of rural people. But how can the marginalised communities get accustomed to it? So, their lives are becoming miserable,” the chief minister said while addressing an administrative review meeting in West Midnapore district. She claimed that the Centre has made mandatory linking of AADHAR cards with bank accounts for payment of money for the 100-day job scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). “But is the Union government aware that there is not a single bank branch in several rural blocks in the state? What will the people staying there do?” the chief minister questioned.


Speaking on the occasion, she also criticised the Union government for not paying the amount for the Ghatal Master Plan meant for bringing a solution in the flood- prone districts of the West Midnapore district. “Unless we get the central funds on this count, we will never be able to implement the scheme,” she said.


Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the alleged reluctance of Centre to release funds under the Prime Minister Awas Yojana (PMAY), CM Banerjee said, “The funds under this scheme are not provided by the Prime Minister alone as is being projected. The state government too has its share of funds in the scheme. The Union government accumulates huge amounts from the state under the goods & services tax head. But they are reluctant to release the state`s share in that.”


She also alleged that the Union government is setting too many conditions for those who are supposed to get houses under the PMAY. “How can the Union government set all the conditions, when the state government too has its share of funds in the scheme,” she said.