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Mamata to stage dharna in Kolkata from Friday over Bengal's dues

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NewsDrum Desk
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Kolkata, Feb 2 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will stage a dharna here from Friday to protest against alleged withholding of the state's dues by the Centre.

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The issue of the Centre withholding the dues, particularly under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), has snowballed into a significant political controversy in the state.

"The dharna will start at 1 pm in Red Road area in Maidan. Our party supremo Mamata Banerjee will lead the agitation. Other senior leaders of the party will also be present," a senior TMC leader said.

Earlier demonstrations by TMC's national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee, along with a cohort of party legislators, MPs, ministers, and MGNREGA workers at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, followed by a five-day sit-in outside Raj Bhavan here, have underscored the gravity of the situation.

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The Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005, aims at enhancing the livelihood security of households in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year.

According to TMC sources, the dharna marks the third major agitation over the issue ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

Sources suggested that the demonstration may extend to 48 hours, strategically coinciding with the commencement of the West Bengal budget session on February 5.

The latest stir is on the lines of a similar two-day sit-in led by Banerjee herself in March of the preceding year, as well as Abhishek Banerjee's agitation in New Delhi and subsequent dharna outside Raj Bhavan in Kolkata. PTI PNT BDC

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