Alleging that the Centre had stopped the funds for various schemes, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday threatened to launch a nationwide movement against the Narendra Modi government if it did not change its "anti-people" policies. The BJP-led central government had stopped 90 per cent of its funds for the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and other development programmes for farmers, poor and middle-class people, she alleged at a public meeting here in Nadia district.
"But we have not stopped a single project and have kept all of them alive by contributing adequate funds from our own resources, despite financial constraints," the Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo added. Claiming that 12,000 distressed farmers had committed suicide in the country so far, following changes in the government policies, she claimed that the majority of those incidents were reported from the BJP-ruled states. "Gradually, the Centre will stop funding all the projects, but we will run them in the interest of the people at our own cost. (The Centre should) take lessons from Bengal as regards what we have done for the farmers," Banerjee said.
She urged the people to vote for the TMC in the upcoming panchayat polls, so that the development projects in the state continued. Banerjee alleged that 90 per cent of the funds for ICDS were stopped, besides a drastic reduction in the allocation in the 100-days' work under the MGNREGA and other central
schemes. Speaking about the state's development programmes, she said, "The passage of the state budget will be expedited, so that we can start the development works immediately. In our budget, we have not increased the tax burden on the people." Stating that her government had done various development works for the benefit of the people, Banerjee announced the construction of 12,000 kms of rural roads across West Bengal, which would connect the villages with the state or national highways.
The panchayats and rural development department would undertake the work, she said, adding that once completed, rural connectivity in the state would reach a new height. Stating that since 2011, over 13,571 kms of roads had been constructed, improving rural connectivity and changing the entire scenario in Bengal, Banerjee said construction of 35,000 kms of roads would be completed by December, 2019. The chief minister also said that Nabadwip town, considered to have been founded in 1063 AD, would soon emerge as a heritage site and Mayapur, famous for its ISKCON temple, as a world heritage site.
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