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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Mamata Banerjee calls for united front against AI’s ‘leave without pay’ scheme

Urging all parties and trade unions, including the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, to oppose the Air India administration’s move, Mamata Banerjee said, “When everyone asked them [BJP-led government] to give money to poor people, to the unorganised sector, to the hawkers, they gave nothing.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Updated: July 17, 2020 5:04:23 am
mamata banerjee, air india. air india staff leave, air india staff leave without pay, air india staff leave foe 2 years, indian express news Mamata Banerjee. (File)

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday hit out at the Centre, questioning the decision of Air India to send some of its employees on leave without pay for six months to two years, with the cost-cutting measure extendable upto five years.

She called on political parties and trade unions to unite, and force the government to roll back this decision.

Banerjee empathised with the employees of the national carrier, and asked how they would survive without money during a crisis. “In the name of Covid-19, the BJP and the Centre are taking advantage. They have changed and amended so many laws without consulting the states. They are doing whatever suits them to maintain a dictatorship. There are labour laws in the country. How can you bulldoze everything and snatch jobs, lives of so many people?” the Chief Minister asked.

Urging all parties and trade unions, including the RSS-affiliated Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, to oppose the Air India administration’s move, Banerjee said, “When everyone asked them [BJP-led government] to give money to poor people, to the unorganised sector, to the hawkers, they gave nothing. They only give cash to selected few during elections. Now they are taking away jobs and our money. Instead of taking care of people, they care a damn about them.”

Banerjee claimed the BJP had lost its credibility, adding, “It is a democratic government but everybody is scared and ashamed.”

Banerjee also criticised the Centre’s move to allow 100 per cent FDI in coal mining, and the proposed privatisation of Indian rail routes. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 25, Banerjee had urged him to reconsider the decision to open up the entire coal sector to FDI.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister told reporters that 6,000 newly selected people would be paid Cyclone Amphan relief funds. These people had been initially left out of the list of beneficiaries.

“Just 0.5 per cent of cases have mistakes because we did it in a hurry. After that, we got 40,000 fresh applications. Out of which, 26,000 names are already in District Magistrates’ list. Six thousand names were rejected and 6,000 applicants will be paid the relief within two to three days,” Banerjee said.

On Wednesday she had told reporters that the government had no intention of depriving anyone. “There were some mistakes in the beneficiaries’ list for Amphan because it was made in a hurry. Some political parties want to politicise it. Some in the media are also campaigning on this. It creates panic. Don’t create panic among the people.”

Mamata Banerjee slams Jagdeep Dhankhar for his remark on Hemtabad MLA death

CM Mamata Banerjee on Thursday criticised Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar for his claim that the death of Hemtabad MLA Debendra Nath Roy was a political murder. “Even before the post-mortem examination was conducted, he branded the death of the MLA as a political murder. He has to prove whether it was a political murder. Otherwise, he will have no credibility… The postmortem report says that it was a case of suicide… It is not right on his part to make statements based on what the BJP has to say,” she said.

The CM added that the Governor had once told her that he does not care about what the PM says. “So he does not respect either the Union Home Ministry or the PM or the Indian Constitution. He is saying dangerous things, which even the BJP never said. He is talking like a politician… He must control himself,” she said.

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