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Centre stalled funds for Bengal to fund Central Vista project: Abhishek

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ALIPURDUAR (WB), April 27 (PTI): Senior TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee on Thursday accused the BJP-led Centre of stalling funds due to West Bengal to fund the Central Vista project.

Banerjee, the TMC national general secretary, while addressing a rally as part of the ‘Trinamool-eh Nabajowar’ (new wave in Trinamool) mass outreach campaign, criticised the BJP MPs from West Bengal for being party to the conspiracy in withholding the dues of the state.

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“The TMC is the only party which will fight for your rights. The BJP government has withheld funds under the MNREGA scheme as it is yet to accept its defeat in the 2021 assembly polls. The BJP government has stalled funds for poor people in Bengal and is using that money to fund the Central Vista project in New Delhi,” he said at a rally at Kumargram.

Banerjee’s remark drew sharp reactions from the BJP, which dubbed the allegations as baseless.

“The funds have been stopped as the state has stopped submitting utilisation certificates on the funds spent under MNREGA. As there has been rampant corruption, they have been unable to submit funds,” BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya said.

On repeated occasions, the Trinamool Congress and West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee had criticised the Centre for withholding the funds due to the state.

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The redevelopment project of the Central Vista — the power corridor of the country — envisages a new triangular Parliament building, a common Central Secretariat, the revamping of the three-km-long Rajpath from the Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate and new residences for the prime minister and the vice president.

“In 2019, you voted for the BJP, and your elected representatives have written to the Centre asking them to stall the funds. The people have voted here as BJP misled you using religion and assured you of the creation of a separate state comprising districts of North Bengal. But their bluff is now out in the open. The entire Bengal from Darjeeling to Kakdwip is united,” he said.

The BJP had made deep inroads in North Bengal, especially in the Alipurduar district, by bagging the lone Lok Sabha seat in 2019 and all the five assembly seats in the district.

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