A PUBLIC meeting to be addressed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in Nandigram that was to be held on January 7 has been called off. TMC senior leader Subrata Mukherjee said on Monday that the chief organiser of the programme and TMC MLA Akhil Giri has tested positive for Covid-19.
“MLA Akhil Giri from Ramnagar is the chief organiser. He has been hospitalised with Covid-19. In his absence, it is not possible to go ahead with the programme. We have postponed it for now,” Giri said.
TMC chief Mamata Banerjee was scheduled to address a public rally on January 7, 2021. The day is observed as Sahid Divas to pay tribute to those who lost lives during anti-land acquisition movement in 2007.
“This programme was politically important for us but it’s sad that we had to cancel it,” said Mukherjee.
Reacting to the development, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “She (Mamata) will have to cancel a lot of programmes now, just wait and watch. Now, her rallies will be limited to Kalighat .”
Purba Midnapore is the home turf of Suvendu Adhikari, former TMC minister who recently joined the BJP during Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit. Suvendu had announced to address a rally on January 8, a day after the CM’s rally. “The TMC is scared to do a rally there,” added Ghosh.
Asked about the opposition criticising Mamata over her recent announcements (on projects) to develop Midnapore, Mukherjee said, “Our CM lives for the common people. She was never against industrialisation otherwise she wouldn’t have gone overseas and made attempts to bring business proposals.
However, she only said the portion of land that was taken by Tatas be kept for small and marginal farmers.”
The TMC leader added that the ‘Duare Sarkar’ outreach programme that delivers welfare schemes of the Bengal government has covered 1.5 crore people in the second phase. The third phase will start from January 21.
“In the camps, cancer patients are also getting health cards and services have been provided to transgenders as well after clearing out their `distrust’ .The government has announced a tiffin allowance of Rs 5,000 in two months for the government workers and volunteers involved in the camps for which Rs 8,700 crore has already been released. It’s a model programme. I will not be surprised if chief ministers of other states copy the concept,” said Mukherjee.
On his portfolio, Mukherjee said the state panchayat and rural department, has allocated rupees 21 thousand crore to boost the rural economy. He also revealed that the state government under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), offered work to the labourers who returned to Bengal during the lockdown.
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