ANI Photo | Idea for Delhi protest over MNREGA ‘arrears’ came from Nobo Jowar Yatra in Bengal: Abhishek Banerjee

Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Abhishek Banerjee revealed on Sunday that the idea of staging a protest in Delhi over the alleged delay in release of funds under MNREGA came during the Nobo Jowar Yatra in West Bengal, according to party sources. 
They said that during the yatra, Banerjee learned about the significant adverse impact on the state’s residents due to the central government’s withholding of funds. 
“During Nobo Jowar I got to know that people were badly hit after the blocking of Central funds across the state. That is when I decided that I will take this protest to Delhi,” Banerjee said at a meeting with party leaders. 
The TMC General Secretary said that there were several attempts to block the protest by declining permissions, and cancelling trains and flights.
“Time and again, permissions were denied for the protest. Trains and flights were denied or cancelled,” Banerjee said.
Banerjee also shared that the permission for the protest at Jantar Mantar has been given verbally and written permission was still pending. “Section 144 has been imposed in that area (Jantar Mantar),” he added.
Top leaders of the TMC conglomerated at TMC MP Sougata Roy’s residence to discuss on the strategy for Monday’s protest. Sudip Bandyopadhyay, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Dola Sen, Babul Supriyo and other senior TMC leaders met on Sunday evening at Roy’s residence in Delhi to brainstorm on the party’s strategy for the protest on Monday and Tuesday.
Following the meeting, Sudip Bandopadhyay said, “Tomorrow, we will be going to Raj Ghat to pay obesience to Mahatma Gandhi. We will start our protest from there. MGNREGA or Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, which is a vital objective of our protest, has a symbolic relation with Gandhiji. Hence we are starting the protest from there.”
“In the evening Abhishek Banerjee will hold a press conference. Following that we will inform you about our schedule on October 3 in detail,” he added.
Earlier in the day, after landing at Delhi airport, Abhishek clarified his ‘Stop me if you can’ remark on ‘X’ saying that he is not challenging any enforcement agency.
“Stop me if you can. I am not challenging any probe agency, whatever I had to say I have said. I am putting that challenge right across from the soil of Delhi,” he told reporters on Sunday.
The TMC General Secretary had earlier said though Union Minister Giriraj Singh is at Delhi, he has declined to meet the TMC delegation.
“Giriraj Singh is in Delhi and is not meeting TMC representatives who are going to Delhi. Earlier when we went to meet Giriraj Singh at his office, he did not meet us despite being present. This shows the callous attitude of BJP to the people West Bengal,” Banerjee said speaking to reporters before leaving for Delhi

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