FM blames Bengal govt for missing migrant job scheme

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has lashed out at the Mamata Banerjee government and put the blame for Bengal’s exclusion from the Centre’s packages to boost employment and livelihood opportunities for migrant workers returning to villages, on the state government.

This comes after Banerjee’s nephew and TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the exclusion of West Bengal from the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan.

“Six states have shared data on migrant workers, following their return. West Bengal, however, did not,” alleged Sitharaman on Sunday.

Pinning the blame squarely on the state administration, she claimed, “Our Prime Minister launched a scheme that covers 116 districts across the country. However, none from Bengal could be included because the TMC government did not bother to share the requisite data with us.”

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She went on alleging that the Mamata Banerjee government doesn’t want the Centre’s welfare policies to be implemented in West Bengal. Sitharaman was addressing a virtual rally of the BJP.

The rural scheme was launched on June 20 by Modi for 116 districts in as many as six states including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Bengal’s neighbours – Jharkhand and Odisha, with an initial funding of Rs 50,000 crore.

Follwoing Bengal’s exclusion, Abhishek Banerjee had tweeted targeting Modi, “Shri @narendramodi Ji, why have you blatantly ignored the concerns of 11 lakh migrant workers from #Bengal who’ve recently returned to their homes. Why has WB been left out of the Garib Kalyan Rozgar Abhiyan? Why this apathy towards the people of Bengal?”

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But now, with the Finance Minister blaming the Bengal government for its exclusion in the first place, it remains to be seen how the TMC responds.

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