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TMC’s Abhishek dares BJP to launch schemes like Lakshmir Bhandar in states it rules

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Kolkata, Mar 30 (PTI) Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee on Saturday dared the BJP to implement a social welfare scheme like ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’ in the states ruled by the saffron party.

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The ‘Lakshmir Bhandar’ scheme was launched by the TMC government in February 2021 to provide financial help to women from economically weaker sections. In this year’s budget, the assistance for the general category was increased from Rs 500 to Rs 1000 per month and for SC/ST raised from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200.

Addressing an election meeting at Mathurapur in South 24 Parganas district, Banerjee said that Rs 25,000 crore has been spent by the state government for the scheme to empower underprivileged women.

“What we promise, we get it done. (Prime Minister) Narendra Modi’s promise of sending Rs 14 lakh to every citizen’s bank account remains unfulfilled. Compare this with the promise by Mamata Banerjee before the 2021 assembly elections to Lakshmis of households which is reaching every underprivileged woman,” the Diamond Harbour MP said.

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In a jibe at state BJP leaders who had promised Rs 3,000 for every poor woman as a monthly allowance if BJP came to power in the state, he said “I challenge BJP leaders to roll out a scheme like Lakshmir Bhandar in any of the BJP-ruled states.” “Leave alone Rs 3,000, if your government can even manage to provide Rs 1,500 to every poor woman, I will quit politics,” he said.

BJP leaders Suvendu Adhikari and Sukanta Majumdar had in recent times promised Rs 3,000 as a monthly allowance to every poor woman in the state if the party came to power.

The TMC leader, considered number two in the party, also mocked Narendra Modi’s promise to a BJP woman Lok Sabha candidates over phone that Rs 3,000 crore money confiscated during ED raids, would be distributed among the people.

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“Dear Modiji, how can you distribute the amount, quoted by you as seized in ED raids, among 140 crore people of India? You know very well this will come down to Rs 21.30 for every citizen if Rs 3000 crore is divided,” he said.

Banerjee called upon the Centre to reduce the steep price of LPG instead and make it free for the poor in the next five years “if you are so concerned”.

“I know you won’t,” he added.

Accusing the BJP of practising autocracy, the TMC leader said the saffron party cannot come to power in Bengal but still the Centre has stopped releasing funds due to the state’s 69 lakh migrant workers.” “Just think what they were up to had they ever come to power (in Bengal),” he said.

Asserting he will win the Diamond Harbour seat by over four lakh vote margin, Banerjee said, “Despite the presence of central forces, we (TMC) won panchayat polls last year in Bengal. The results will be always the same whichever poll it is despite the BJP’s conspiracy.” Banerjee accused BJP of plotting conspiracies to foment disturbances in South 24 Parganas district. PTI SUS NN

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