Crescent: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday alleged that the BJP was using people’s money deposited in Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and nationalized banks to benefit herself and some famous people close to the party.
During a program in East Bardhaman district, the Trinamool Congress chief targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government over the general budget, claiming that the income tax exemption was nothing but a juggling of words.
He claimed, ‘If this government continues for more days, all the banks will be closed. Life Insurance (Corporation) will come to an end. The way LIC shares are being sold… the way LIC and banks money, which belongs to the people, is being used for the benefit of the party (BJP) and some of its famous cronies, you don’t know that you need to sell the banks Or will we be able to get money from insurance companies, or not.
She was apparently referring to State Bank of India (SBI) and LIC’s investments in the Adani group, whose shares fell following a report by American conglomerate Hindenburg.
Describing the Union Budget as ‘full of lies’, Banerjee said that the Center is making tall claims in view of the general elections to be held in 2024.
Without claiming that the BJP-led central government is desperate because of the huge fall in the stock market after the presentation of the budget.
Banerjee claimed, ‘After the presentation of the Union Budget, there was a huge fall in the stock market… Some people were called and asked to invest several thousand crores in those shares whose prices were falling.’
According to the Indian Express, Banerjee said, ‘On Wednesday it seemed as if the central government was shaken. Why? Because there was a huge decline in the stock market. I do not want to name anyone, but can the country run without any plan?
He said, ‘The Center had to ask 6-8 people to rescue them. I will not reveal the names because I do not want to make it difficult for them.
During this, Mamta Banerjee termed the budget as anti-people and said, ‘I urge the people here not to beg for jobs outside Bengal. On Wednesday, the Center presented the Union Budget for 2023-24, in which there was not a word about the issue of unemployment in India. When elections are round the center promises to provide 2 crore jobs. But once the elections are over, they take away the jobs of crores of people.
He said that in the previous income tax system, exemption of about Rs 1.5 lakh was available in various investment sectors, but as per the new tax scheme, these deductions will no longer be available.
He again criticized the Center for sending a central team to West Bengal to review the mid-day meal scheme.
He said, ‘Why did the Center stop the funds for the 100-day action plan? He even refused to pay the wages of the laborers of Bengal. The Center has allocated Rs 60,000 crore for NREGA, which is lower than the Rs 73,000 crore budgeted for 2022-23. This is the lowest amount so far that has been allocated for this scheme.
Banerjee said, ‘If even a small cracker bursts, a central team is sent to Bengal. Why don’t you (Centre) send a team with the MGNREGA funds that are owed to you? If you don’t release the funds immediately, listen carefully, Bengal will protest and fight for its rights! We are going to get Rs 7,000 crore for the 100 days action plan. But the Center is not releasing this amount.
He claimed, ‘Raniganj is in a vulnerable position. We have taken up this issue with the Center as landslides can happen in the area anytime. We have proposed to build 29,000 houses. But the Center is not releasing funds for this.
At the same time, while mentioning the discontent among the students in Visva Bharati University, Banerjee alleged that the students were harassed by the officials. She said that she will always stand with the students.
(With inputs from news agency Bhasha)
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