West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday announced a slew of welfare measures such as the creation of 15 million jobs, hike in the annual aid of farmers and schemes in the name of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
Banerjee made the announcements while presenting the state’s vote-on-account in the legislative assembly and the last budget ahead of the polls, even as legislators from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) entered the well of the House demanding that the same be read out by finance minister Amit Mitra and not the chief minister. Mitra skipped the Friday’s assembly session.
The BJP leaders later staged a walkout while chanting Jai Shri Ram slogans. The Left Front and the Congress MLAs also boycotted the session.
“With the permission of the Speaker, I propose a budget of ₹299,688 crore (net) for the year 2021-22 on behalf of the state government,” the TMC supremo read from the interim annual financial statement.
Banerjee said that her government intends to build a state-level planning commission as a mark of tribute to Bose. “We will build Jai Hind Bhawan in every district and Azad Hind Smaark at Newtown,” she said.
Under the government’s ‘Krishak Bandhu’ scheme, the annual aid for farmers was increased from ₹5,000 to ₹6,000, she announced, adding that her government has agreed to implement the centrally-funded Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana in Bengal.
Banerjee also accused the Centre of not providing any monetary relief to the state in the aftermath of cyclone Amphan and coronavirus. “Had the Central Government provided some financial relief at this hour (cyclone Amphan, Covid-19 pandemic and the economic depression) of the crisis, it would have helped us in meeting the challenges,” she said.
The BJP, who has often targeted the state government over lack of employment, sought details on the number of contractual jobs provided. “The state should publish a white paper and initiate a probe on all contractual jobs done till date. It should make public the number of people employed through such contracts, when were they recruited and how. The entire process is shady and corrupt,” Shamik Bhattacharya, BJP’s state spokesperson, said.
BJP, TMC to launch rallies in Nadia today
BJP president JP Nadda is scheduled to launch the party’s rath yatra from the state’s Nadia district on Saturday even as the youth wing of the TMC plans to launch a 10,000-strong motorcycle rally at the same time.
Nadda’s roadshow, which the party has named paribartan yatra (journey for change), will begin from Nabadwip on Saturday, and will cross 15 assembly constitutes in Nadia in two days. The TMC’s motorcycle rally, which has been named janasamarthan yatra (journey for mass support), will cross eight constituencies during the same period.
A district police official said, “With so many people travelling from different parts of Nadia, movement of traffic may be hit in several parts.”