TMC forcibly occupied two Zilla Parishads in 2018 panchayat polls: BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari

PURULIA: Senior BJP leader Suvendu Adhikari on Sunday accused the Mamata Banerjee dispensation of appropriating central projects, and said only three to four people in the state government call the shots, with the rest functioning as rubber stamps.

Maintaining that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already said that three crore health workers and 27 crore people above the age of 50 years will be administered the vaccine for free across the country, Adhikari claimed that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, despite the announcement, wrote to all COVID warriors and stated that her government would not charge anything for the inoculation.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee said that arrangements were being made to provide COVID-19 vaccines for free to all the people of the state, and not just the COVID-19 warriors. She also clarified that frontline workers would be given priority over others.

Alleging that the TMC government was changing names of central projects to claim those to be its own, the former state minister said, “The name of Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan project has been changed to Nirmal Bangla mission.”

Adhikari, during a public meeting here, also contended that natural resources of Purulia, including coal and other minerals, were being looted by organised gangs, with the state government doing nothing about it.

The former MLA, during his speech at an adivasi- dominated district, further said that the ‘Ol Chiki’ language of Santhalis was given recognition in the eighth schedule of the Constitution by former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but the TMC government did not provide any book or teaching facility to promote it.

He also claimed that the TMC has ceased to be a political party and functions as a private limited company, with “three or four persons from south Kolkata running the government with 20 of 30 departments in their hands”.

Asserting that the rural areas of the state have long been neglected by the TMC leadership, he said that the “fight is between the villages and a few privileged persons from south Kolkata”. He also said that the district-level service commissions for recruitment of school teachers have been replaced by a centralised system based in Kolkata, thereby reducing job opportunities for youths.