Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari Saturday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi alleging that the West Bengal government was misappropriating Central funds for the implementation of schemes, including housing and rural job programme.
The letter was sent a day after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee met the Prime Minister in the national capital and sought urgent release of central funds.
"The people of West Bengal are sick and tired of siphoning of Central government funds and I on their behalf would like to convey to you that proper checks and balances should be in place accordingly and the amount that has been granted till now must be accounted for," the letter read.
Banerjee met Modi on Friday and raised a host of issues concerning her state, including the release of GST dues and urgent release of funds due to the state on account of the implementation of the rural job scheme MGNREGA, PM Awas Yojana (PMAY), and the PM Gramin Sadak Yojana (PMGSY).
The amount due to the state under these schemes stood at about Rs 17,996.32 crore, Banerjee had said. Adhikari said in the letter that every day numerous incidents of malpractices were being unearthed across West Bengal .
"Very often news reports keep surfacing that novel kinds of means and ways are being adopted to carry out corrupt practices and swindle money granted through these schemes for public welfare," Adhikari said.
Adhikari had quit the Trinamool Congress and joined the BJP in December 2020 ahead of the assembly election. Claiming that a new way has been found to siphon off crores, Adhikari mentioned that MGNREGA funds were being used for the plantation of saplings, including mangrove trees and other varieties of fruit-bearing plants.
He alleged that though it was being claimed that thousands of hectares have been covered under the initiative, the reality is “starkly different”.
"At the time of inspection, it is being claimed that the plants have been washed away in Cyclonic storms like Yaas and Amphan or other natural calamities. Even naturally grown plants are shown as planted through man-days created under MGNREGA," he said.
Stating that Central teams are surveying works in some panchayats, in the state, the letter read, "many panchayat offices are functioning at the dark hours of the night, not for the welfare of people, but for moving and shifting documents that would incriminate them eventually, if those find their way to the central team members."
(With PTI Inputs)