In a fiery speech during the Martyr’s Day rally, TMC’s national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, declared that his party would lead a large-scale protest in Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti, October 2nd. The protest aims to denounce the BJP-led central government for withholding funds earmarked for West Bengal under various schemes, including the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
Banerjee accused the Centre of engaging in vendetta politics by halting the release of funds to Bengal. This decision has caused significant distress and hampered the state’s development initiatives, further exacerbating the ongoing political tension between the Trinamool Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Addressing the enthusiastic crowd, Banerjee asserted that the entire nation is echoing the slogan that the BJP will be ousted from power in the upcoming 2024 elections. He expressed confidence in the newly formed opposition alliance, I.N.D.I.A (Indian National Democratic and Independent Alliance), to take the reins of governance in the next general elections.
The MGNREGA is a crucial scheme that guarantees a hundred days of wage employment in rural areas, thereby providing significant support to marginalized sections of society. However, the withholding of funds has hindered the program’s implementation in West Bengal, causing unrest and dissatisfaction among its citizens.
Banerjee’s call for a mass protest outside Krishi Bhavan in Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti has ignited fervor among TMC supporters, who see it as a means to fight against perceived injustice and assert their rights. The protest is likely to draw participants from across the country, as various opposition parties, civil society groups, and activists rally behind the cause.
The ongoing feud between the Centre and the West Bengal government has been marked by animosity, with both parties trading accusations of political vendetta and undermining democratic norms. Banerjee’s strong words at the Martyr’s Day rally serve as an indication of the escalating tensions between the two political factions.
It remains to be seen how the central government will respond to the TMC’s planned protest. Such demonstrations have historically been met with varying degrees of tolerance and response from the authorities. The BJP-led government may view the upcoming protest as an attempt to garner political mileage in the run-up to the elections, rather than a genuine concern for the people’s welfare in West Bengal.