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Instead of blaming Modi for note ban, Mamata decides to help jobless

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 9:12 IST
(PTI photo)

After Trinamool Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay's arrest for his alleged role in the Rose Valley scam by the CBI, party supremo Mamata Banerjee has decided to be more cautious in criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his note ban.

The TMC was one of the most vocal opponents of demonetisation since the move was announced on 8 November.

But now, instead of criticising Modi, Mamata has decided to induct unorganised workers who have lost their jobs in the new gem and jewellery park to be set up on six acres of land in Dumurjola, Howrah district.

Sources in TMC said Mamata is trying to avoid any controversy by directly criticising Modi, which is why she shied away from the media when asked about Modi's 'raincoat' statement against former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. All she said in Manmohan's defence was that “there is not a single black mark against him despite all the corruption”.

Even TMC's planned demonstrations in various districts, to be held in the month of March, have been stalled for the time being. New dates for the demonstrations will be decided later on.

 

How state govt will go about it

 

The primary theme of West Bengal's budget for 2017-18 was how to give relief to the people who have been affected due to note ban.

Senior officials of the state government said it was decided that 25,000 unorganised workers can be rehabilitated in the new gems and jewellery park, and that the Chief Minister's Office (CMO) had already issued instructions to identify the workers from other states who had lost their jobs due to demonetisation. The state government is looking forward to set up a committee to address the grievances of the workers coming from other states.

TMC MP Saugata Roy said: “We will continue our protests against the note ban. The TMC does not give false promises to people, and so, in our small endeavour, we have decided to give relief to the people who have been affected due to demonetisation.”

A senior minister in the West Bengal government, on the condition of anonymity, said that working for the distressed, especially who've lost their jobs due to demonetisation, rather than personal attacks on the Prime Minister or the BJP, was the only way to garner support of the masses. This is why the TMC has decided to use this opportunity to make sure that Banerjee herself can come into the national spotlight.

Dilip Ghosh, state president of BJP, alleged exactly that. “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has fallen silent, as people are not feeling the heat of demonetisation. ATMs, too, have got enough cash. So, she is trying to change her strategy to garner the support of the masses,” he said.

Officials are now taking legal advice on how to deal with the cases where the Centre and the state are at loggerheads, as Mamata had earlier gone to town claiming that the Centre was trying to disturb the federal structure of the country.

 

First published: 14 February 2017, 9:12 IST
 
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