Tuesday, August 9, 2022

CBI being repeatedly used to intimidate opposition: Mamata

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday hit out at the BJP-led government at the Centre and said CBI is being repeatedly used by it to intimidate the opposition.
The central agency is summoning doctors, scribes and even drivers of electric rickshaws in the name of investigation into the cattle smuggling case and is harassing them, she said at an administrative review meeting of Purba and Paschim Bardhaman districts.
“The CBI is calling whoever it can. You know a CBI case is going on here. It has summoned a poor toto (electric rickshaw) driver from Birbhum. Even a doctor has been summoned. They are also calling and harassing TMC panchayat members, legislators as well as journalists. One thousand people are being called for one case,” Banerjee alleged.
She urged all to carry on with their work ignoring these. The CBI had on June 16 summoned a Toto driver in connection with its probe into the cattle smuggling case. Its sleuths have claimed that influential TMC leaders have allegedly used the services of the electric rickshaw driver in the case. It had also questioned several journalists and senior gastroenterologist Abhijit Chowdhury in connection with the case. Banerjee, who is among the harshest critics of the BJP, has often claimed that central agencies are being misused by the Modi government to harass the opposition.
She iterated that there is no harm in calling the Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana as ‘Bangla Awas Yojana’ since Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat have already affixed the names of the states to the programme. “It is my right (to call the scheme as Bangla Awas Yojana),” she said and asked her officers not to enlist new beneficiaries for the scheme as the Centre has not set any target for it.
Banerjee said that she will go to New Delhi to find out why the Centre has stopped releasing funds allocated to Bengal for the housing scheme and collect the arrears.
“How can the Centre stop money? We also give 40 per cent funds for this (Awas Yojana) project. I need to know what crime we have committed. But as long as that is not happening, do not enroll any beneficiary’s name in the Bangla Awas Yojana as the Centre has not set a target,” she said.
Bengal chief secretary H K Dwivedi, who was present at the meeting, said that no new name has been registered for the ‘Banglar Bari’ project, which is meant for the urban poor. “Those who have already been enrolled will get their allocated money. The state government has set aside an additional Rs 1,200 crore for this”.
A number of government projects are run jointly by the Centre and the states and recently there has been controversy over naming them. The Mamata Banerjee government has been alleging that the Modi government is only seeking publicity in all the projects for which the state also gives money.
Banerjee asked farmers to keep an eye on the sale of paddy to get the right price and advised district administration officers to be more active and ensure that cultivators do not face any problem.
She asked local leaders to pay extra attention to serve the people in their respective areas and directed all zilla parishads and panchayat samities in the state to focus only on construction and repair of rural roads.
“Zilla Parishads and panchayat samities now receive 15 per cent of the total cost of various works undertaken by it. If the rural roads are bad, no one will get votes. Make the road for half the money. If needed carry bricks on your heads. The rest of the money will be spent in other sectors,” she said and asked them to call her if there is need for any help.


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