March 30, 2023
If Bengal is blockaded economically, we will respond through a political blockade: Mamata Banerjee
To protest against the Union government’s imposing of economic hardships on Bengal, stifling of democracy and the of using Central agencies to harass and intimidate opposition leaders, Mamata Banerjee sat on a two-day long sit-in protest in Kolkata. The ‘dharna’ happened in front of the statue of Ambedkar on Red Road, starting 12 pm on Wednesday, where she also have a speech.
Highlights of her speech:
The Union government is taking away the state government’s tax earnings by using GST but not giving back its share. I’ve spoken to the prime minister three times on this issue, my party’s MPs have also met him to discuss this issue.
Many non-BJP states have been forced to close down schemes, the most being in Bengal, where as many as 63 schemes have stopped.
The BJP gives the impression that it is the only honest party, that all are anti-national except it’s followers.
Despite coming first five times in the 100 Days’ Work Scheme, Bengal has stopped getting money to continue it. Rs 7,000 crore is due. Similarly, despite coming first four times in Gram Sadak Yojana, funding has been stopped. As for Bangla Awas Yojana, even after the sanctioning, no funds are coming. The BJP is adept at making promises before elections.
The Union government has still not paid for the scholarships of 23 lakh students. We have started the Medhashree Scholarship.
The BJP and CPI(M) have come together in a ‘Ram-Bam’ partnership (Ram, implying the Right, and Left). Many jobs [during the Left Front era] had been given on the basis of ‘chirkut’ (means chits, implying connections and money). I have instructed my officials to dog up all old files.
If anyone does not do as the BJP (at the Centre) says, they are threatened using the ED and CBI. They are sent at the drop of a hat.
I have met the prime minister to press for Bengal’s interests, I have given him applications. But how many times can I go? Am I your servant l, or your slave? Despite the rule for 100 Days’Work saying the money for work done has to be paid within seven days, nothing has come to us.
If the BJP government imposes economic blockade on Bengal, we will respond through a political blockade. We will protest in Delhi. If I go to Delhi, I will bring all (Opposition) parties together. If I am not allowed to enter Delhi, I will sit down in protest wherever I am stopped.