Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien on Saturday said the Delhi-bound flight of party leaders, who are to join the protest in the national capital against MGNREGA arrears next week, has been cancelled.
This comes amid TMC's protest after their 'special' Howrah-Delhi train, to ferry thousands of MGNREGA job cardholders, was cancelled by Eastern Railway. However, the ruling party in Bengal has arranged several buses for the protestors, as an alternative. They will now cover the entire 1,500 Km plus journey to the national capital by road.
The TMC has called for a two-day 'Dilli Cholo: A fight for our rights!' protest in the national capital on October 2 and 3 to raisechorus for the payment of alleged arrears for 100 days of work under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme.
Taking to the social media platform, X, party MP Derek said, "First, they abruptly cancel special train services from Kol to Del to prevent those who were to travel to participate in protests on Oct 2 & 3, demanding 10s of 1000s of crores owed to Bengal by BJP Union govt. Now a flight gets cancelled! Try as you might, we WILL TAKE YOU ON."
The party's Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar said, It is astonishing how a flight, which had more than 100 leaders from Barasat travelling to the programme declared by AITC National General Secretary Abhishek Banerjee for 2nd and 3rd October in Delhi, was cancelled. Never in my life have I seen a flight being cancelled because of atechnical glitch."
MGNREGA job cardholders, after reaching Delhi, are expected to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat on his birth anniversary on October 2 and move on to Krishi Bhawan, housing the Rural Development Ministry which oversees the MNREGA programme.
The day after, on October 3, the protestors will hold a protest near the iconic Jantar Mantar in the national capital. The protest will be spearheaded by TMC general secretary Abhishek Banerjee.
Abhishek will frontline the protest, ignoring summons by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for questioning in connection with the alleged teachers' recruitment scam in West Bengal.
The agency had earlier asked him to appear for questioning in the case on October 3. However, the TMC leader said he would be unable to appear before the ED owing to his preoccupation with the party's protest in the national capital.
Earlier, on September 16, a delegation from the TMC had written to the officer of Union Rural Development Minister Giriraj Singh, seeking an appointment with him.
However, a notice from the minister's office said he would not be available in Delhi on October 3 due to "unavoidable circumstances".
Earlier in the day, TMC spokesperson Kunal Ghosh told ANI that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will not be attending the protest, as she was advised 10 days of rest by doctors after suffering a leg injury.
"But the party's top leaders, including MLAs and MPs, will attend the protest," Ghosh said. (ANI)