West Bengal government will not accept any funds from the Centre, says Mamata Banerjee; calls Interim Budget a ‘farce’

Kolkata: Continuing with her 'Save the Constitution' dharna here against the BJP-led central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her government will not accept any money from the Centre as part of any scheme.

Addressing the public at her overnight dharna site at Kolkata's Metro Channel station, the Trinamool Congress chief said, "We have taken a decision we won't take any money from the Centre regarding any of the Yojanas."

West Bengal government will not accept any funds from the Centre, says Mamata Banerjee; calls Interim Budget a ‘farce’

File image of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. PTI

She accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led central government of "stealing" farmers' rights. "Modi government has taken away the rights of farmers. Over 12,000 farmers have committed suicide. Farmers' lands have been snatched away. Back in 2006, I had sat on a dharna for 27 days to return their lands. Many farmer families are left with nothing. We are the only government which doesn't allow farmers' rights to be snatched away," Mamata said.

"We have started schemes like Krishi Bondhu, as part of which, farmers get Rs 5,000 per year. We have already given out 30,000 cheques. Under the Bengal Fasal Bima Yojana, 80 per cent of the premium is given by the state government. We have Krishi Pension, under which farmers get Rs 1,000 per month. We are buying rice grains directly from farmers to give them the due benefits. We are also paying them in cheques to ensure no one dupes them," the TMC chief added.

Mamata termed the interim budget as a "farce" and claimed that the schemes announced by the Centre will not be fulfilled as the Central government lacks the requisite funds.

Accusing Modi of plotting a "coup" against her government, Mamata started her protest following a showdown between the CBI and Kolkata Police. Five CBI officials had moved to arrest the city's Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar, although they were denied entry to the latter's residence and later detained.

CBI interim director M Nageshwar Rao had said that Kumar had tampered with evidence in the Saradha chit fund scam and there was proof to corroborate the same.

A number of Opposition leaders including Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah, DMK president MK Stalin have expressed solidarity with Mamata.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also extended his support to the TMC supremo, stating that the events in Bengal are happening because of the "unrelenting" attack on India's institutions by Modi and the BJP.

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Updated Date: Feb 04, 2019 16:47:22 IST

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