Launching a tirade against the BJP-led Union government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said that if the Centre does not clear the state's dues, it may have to stop paying Goods and Services Tax or GST.
Addressing a rally in the tribal-dominated Jhargram district in West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee said the Centre must either clear states' dues or step down from power.
Mamata Banerjee alleged that the Centre was not releasing MGNREGA funds and called upon tribals to hit the streets to protest it.
"Do we have to beg before the Centre to get our financial dues cleared? They are not releasing MNREGA funds. The BJP government has to step down from power if it does not clear our dues," the Chief Minister said.
Taking a swipe at the BJP, Ms Banerjee said: "Are we living in a democracy? Or has India become a 'one-party' country?"
"Give us our dues. This is our money. Otherwise, scrap GST. You have to pay us our dues for 100-day job scheme or else leave your chair," she said, while paying rich tributes to Birsa Munda, a freedom fighter from the tribal community.
The Prime Minister also paid tributes to Birsa Munda this morning on the occasion of Jan Jatiya Gaurav Divas 2022.
"They threaten to stop funds to Bengal. We can also stop GST," the Chief Minister said. "You cannot collect taxes here and withhold our legitimate dues. You are denying the people of Bengal what is their due," Ms Banerjee added in a sharp attack on the BJP-led government.
Yesterday, Ms Banerjee attacked BJP's Suvendu Adhikari who had said that the centre would stop funds to Bengal under various schemes in view of corruption.
Hitting out at Adhikari, the Chief Minister said: "One day, such politicians will become zero, if they continue dissing Bengal. We are ranked among the top states when it comes to implementing these schemes, be it 100 days' work or Grameen Sadak Yojana or Bangla Awas Yojana."
While addressing the audience at the programme in Jhargram today, she urged the tribals to hit the streets and sit on a dharna if their rightful claims are denied and their dues withheld.
(with PTI inputs)