Counting the price of reduce-money

by Lionel Casey

On June 18, addressing an open forum of the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in Kolkata, Mamata Banerjee made the unlikeliest of admissions. The TMC, she rued, turned into entrenched in corruption down to its lowest rungs, and it turned into time to attract the road. “I don’t need thieves at the birthday party,” Mamata stated. “Those who have taken cash (from the human beings) cross return it. You are not even sparing the useless and are taking ten consistent with cent commission from the Rs 2,000 the government offers to the poor for acting closing rites.”

Counting the price of reduce-money 3

With this, the West Bengal chief minister had blown the whistle at the lifestyle of ‘cut money the BJP said had received currency underneath the TMC in Bengal — a bribe or commission that even the poorest of terrible allegedly have to pay to neighborhood TMC leaders to avail of their essential or country government grants.

Mamata’s confession couldn’t have come at a worse time. What turned into a photograph-makeover exercise has turned into a public relations fiasco and given the fresh opposition ammunition in opposition to the TMC. The BJP has been leading demonstrations throughout the state and alleges assaults on its cadre using the TMC and police alike for submitting police proceedings towards the extortionists. In several parts of Bengal, the homes of neighborhood TMC leaders were laid siege to through negative human beings on the receiving quit of such deep-rooted corruption. Poor villagers like Shankar Bagdi, from Paikpara in Birbhum district’s Sainthia area.

Bagdi had carried out a grant underneath the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana-Gramin (MAY-G) to construct a pucca residence. Since his name got here up in the beneficiary listing three years ago, Bagdi had been making rounds of the neighborhood TMC workplace and assembly panchayat individuals. Only when he bribed the nearby TMC bosses Rs 7,000 this year did the first PM installment of Rs forty 000 come thru, he alleges. Unable to pay some other Rs three 000, he fears being denied the ultimate furnish of Rs 80,000. This monsoon, Bagdi’s semi-built residence remains a roofless structure, without walls.

Grants below authorities schemes are direct benefit transfers. Beneficiaries allege that nearby TMC leaders demanding reduce-money seize their bank and publish-workplace files, including passbooks and withdrawal, slips. “They return the files best after every penny of the grant has been withdrawn. We are compelled to sign the withdrawal slip and hand it over,” alleges Sukhadeb Dolui from a village below Hatora panchayat in Birbhum.

Be it MNREGA wages, allotments for constructing lavatories and MAY-G houses, or the recruitment of college instructors, and court cases are coming in that nothing moves till you pay the charge’ in lots of panchayats. “I had to pay a bribe of Rs 7,000 to get an MNREGA activity card. When I went to accumulate my wages, I discovered two other names inside the panchayat facts towards my card,” says Hatora panchayat resident Shyamal Bagdi. He alleges he became duped with the aid of the panchayat president from the TMC.

Birbhum Zila Parishad sabhadhipati Bikash Ray Chaudhuri says a probe is underway into the alleged misappropriation of MNREGA funds worth Rs 22 lakh in Paikpara and Belia. He promises that “the culprits might be delivered to the e-book.”

Political observers say such corruption became regular all through the Left Front rule as nicely, however, in the isolated wallet of the country. The Left is a regimented birthday party; it all came about in relative secrecy. Manoj Chakraborty, the Congress leader whip in the West Bengal assembly, alleges: “One wishes to pay up, be it while claiming a government fund, getting jobs in faculties and authorities workplaces, for admission in colleges or to get a bed in the health center. This has been a well-known exercise within the beyond eight years [of TMC rule].”

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