Kolkata, Nov 15 (IANS): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday questioned whether she will have to touch the feet of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to get the dues of the state government on account of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme.
"To get the Central funds for the 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA scheme is our right. I personally met the Prime Minister and spoke to him in the matter. Will I have to touch his feet now? The Union government will have to pay our dues at any cost. Else the positions of power have to be vacated," the Chief Minister said while addressing the birth anniversary celebration of iconic tribal freedom fighter, Birsa Munda at Jhargram on Tuesday afternoon.
Incidentally, Leader of the Opposition in West Bengal assembly, Suvendu Adhikari has filed a public interest litigation seeking a CBI probe and an audit by the CAG in the implementation of MGNREGA scheme in the state.
Without directly referring to that development, the Chief Minister said that some leaders from West Bengal are constantly appealing to the Union government so that the Central funds to the state government are blocked.
"What do they want? Do they want to conspire with the Union government to keep the people of West Bengal starved? I would request the people of the tribal community to hit the streets with bows, arrows and traditional musical instruments in protest," the Chief Minister said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister said that besides MGNREGA, the Union government is also not providing the funds for the housing schemes.
"Construction of over 50 lakh houses is being held back because of the lack of funds. This is not a charity that the Union government is making to us. This is the genuine dues to the state government as the Union government is also not giving us the state's share in goods & services tax," she said.
Reacting to the chief minister's statements, BJP national vice-president and party's Lok Sabha member, Dilip Ghosh said that it has been over 11 years that Mamata Banerjee has become the chief minister. "So, what she had been doing for so many years. Actually, these are lame excuses on her part as she had understood that the tribal vote bank is slowly moving away from Trinamool Congress," said Ghosh.