Mamata accuses Centre of stopping assistance for rice scheme



Jhilimili: Accusing the Centre of stopping assistance for the Rs 2 per kg rice scheme for the BPL in Junglemahal, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that her government will continue the scheme with its own resources.

"Centre is depriving West Bengal of funds. They have even stopped the Rs 2 per kg rice for BPL families in Junglemahal," Banerjee said here in Bankura district, winding up her two-day tour of Junglemahal.

"They are increasing the prices of petrol and diesel, but when it comes to giving assistance to the poor people, they have stopped giving Rs 2 kg rice for the BPL," she said.

She said that her government will continue the scheme. "It will require Rs 500 crore."

The Chief Minister said that her government was unable to create five lakh jobs because the Centre was taking huge annual interest for loans taken by the previous government.

"The Centre takes away Rs 40,000 crore from the state annually through central taxes. But they give West Bengal only Rs 18,000 crore in return," she said.

Claiming that West Bengal was on top among the nine states affected by Left Wing extremism, she said, in Junglemahal 100 days work was provided under MGNREGA.

"People can live in peace. There was a time when people could not venture out of their homes due to fear of Maoists and others," she said.

Exhorting those still associated with Maoists, she said that her government is ready to help them return to the mainstream.

Banerjee took umbrage at a section of media, reporting on poor turnout at her rally yesterday at Binpur in West Midnapur district.

She said that she had turned up early for yesterday's rally. The rally was to start at 2 pm, but was changed to 12 pm.

"These sort of canards against us will not help. Those (tv channels) who are engaged in this, should think how their own TRP is going down," she said.

PTI