Mamata Banerjee’s party has alleged that its MPs and leaders were “manhandled and mercilessly dragged” away by cops on Day 2 of their Delhi protest over central funds.
The Trinamool Congress, which was holding a dharna at the Union Rural Development Ministry, claimed that the Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti refused to meet them saying she would not meet more than five representatives.
“Today 02:30 hours was wasted. I left the office at 08:30 while waiting for the Trinamool MPs. According to my information, the delegation of Trinamool MPs and Bengal ministers had taken an appointment in the office at 06:00,” the Minister tweeted.
“But later they wanted to meet presenting Trinamool workers as public, which was against the office system. They backed away from the scheduled topics of the meeting because the intention was not to meet but to do politics. This is a very shameful incident done by Trinamool leaders,” the Minister added further.
आज 02:30 घंटे का समय व्यर्थ गया।
आज तृणमूल के सांसदों की प्रतीक्षा करते करते 08:30 बजे कार्यालय से निकली हूँ।
मेरी जानकारी के अनुसार तृणमूल के सांसद और बंगाल के मंत्रियों के प्रतिनिधिमण्डल ने कार्यालय में 06:00 बजे मिलने का समय लिया था।
— Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti (@SadhviNiranjan) October 3, 2023
The Trinamool leaders, who had brought with them bundles of letters addressed to the Prime Minister and the Rural Development Minister, refused to leave till the Minister met them.
Led by Mamata Banerjee’s nephew Abhishek Banerjee, a group of party MPs, state cabinet ministers sat on a dharna, which dragged on till 9 pm.
At this point, claims the party, the police broke up the protest and detained several leaders.
“Ek MP ke saath aisa kar rahe hai aap log (You are doing this to an MP),” said MP Mahua Moitra as she was scooped up by women cops and dragged away.
Videos from the scene showed Abhishek Banerjee and other leaders being pulled away by the cops. Another video showed Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’ Brien put into a bus and taken away.
The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal has accused the BJP-led NDA government of withholding Rs 15,000 crore in dues to the state under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) and PM Awas Yojana.
The BJP has rejected the charge and accused the Trinamool of doing a “drama” in Delhi to divert attention from the scams in West Bengal.