On July 7, several traders across Siliguri in West Bengal has shut down their shops in Ghogomali locality for an indefinite period and were staging protest against the All India Trinamool Congress Councillor Ranjan Shil Sharma (Ward No. 37) over ‘cut money’. During the time of the protest, the traders were seen chanting slogans against the concerned officials. They also blocked the roads in the locality by burning tyres. As the roads were blocked traffic on this route was affected due to which the travellers, as well as the locals, faced various issues. No injury was reported during the protest whereas the police officials along with their team were present on the spot to disperse the mob.
The issue of ‘cut money’ in West Bengal came into limelight last month i.e June 2019 after TMC supremo and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged party leaders to return ‘cut money’ to locals in order to bolster the image of the party in the state as it faced a tough competition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to the sources, Recently in East Burdwan city, a Trinamool leader was allegedly dragged out of his residence and was tied to a tree where the locals thrashed him and demanded that the party leader should return the ‘cut money’ given by them.
Later on, the Trinamool leader was released by the locals only after he gave them a written declaration that he would return the illegal commission taken by them in a month’s time.
The rates for almost all the government scheme are fixed by the Trinamool leaders. For example, Rs 500 to Rs 600 per beneficiary for the Ujjwala Scheme, Rs 900 to Rs 2000 to construct a toilet. This does not stop here as even the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) workers are required to pay Rs 20-40 from their daily wages.
Exposing the truth behind the cut money taken by some of the Trinamool leader’s, sources revealed that, People in the state are forced to give ‘cut money’ in order to avail the Centre’s scheme. The Trinamool leaders not only took money for making funds available under the central government’s scheme but also ‘charged’ people for state government’s welfare programmes.
The local from Siliguri further stated that each scheme has a rate and people from the grassroots level i.e. Panchayat to people in the state leadership are indulged in taking their share from the allocations meant for poor peoples upliftment.
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