25 buses with TMC volunteers start out from Kolkata for Delhi demonstration on Oct 3
You cannot crush the movement by the people of Bengal for their rights, he said.The Eastern Railways, however, contended that it received the request from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation IRCTC and unavailability of rakes was the reason behind denial of the special train.Meanwhile, TMC Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar claimed that a private carrier suddenly cancelled the flight in which several leaders of Barasat parliamentary constituency were to travel to Delhi.
Twenty five buses carrying TMC volunteers set out from Kolkata on Saturday for the planned protest in Delhi on October 3 against "withholding" of funds by the Centre, even as party leaders cried foul over denial of train bookings and cancellations of flights.
Over 4,000 people will travel to the national capital by a convoy of buses as part of the programme, TMC sources said.
More buses are departing from various districts, carrying TMC supporters for the protest programme in Delhi, they said.
Before the buses left Kolkata, Senior Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee asserted that the TMC cannot be scared off from its political programmes through summons by central agencies, and vowed to go ahead with the protests in Delhi.
The TMC will hold a peaceful sit-in by its MPs and state ministers at Rajghat on October 2, and a peaceful rally of the MGNREGA job card holders the next day. Both the programmes will be live streamed.
The Diamond Harbour MP has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on October 3 in connection with its ongoing investigation into the alleged school jobs scam.
Banerjee claimed that the Centre was trying to ''crush'' the movement of the poor people of West Bengal in Delhi by cancelling trains and ''deploying the ED and CBI''.
''But it (the measures) will backfire,'' he said in a virtual address to party workers.
''It is clear that they (BJP) want to teach people of Bengal a lesson as they voted overwhelmingly in favour of TMC in the 2021 assembly polls and in subsequent by-polls. If this is BJP's way of revenge, a bigger and nastier blow awaits it in the 2024 Lok Sabha polls,'' the TMC national general secretary asserted.
The 'Dilli Chalo' call has been given to realise Rs 7,000 crore, which the West Bengal government claims is due to it for the rural works guarantee scheme to over 20 lakh labourers of the state, and for release of Rs 8,200 crore towards the Awas Yojana across the state.
Thousands of MGNREGA job card holders have arrived in Kolkata from various parts of the state to travel to Delhi to demand their dues, Banerjee said.
''We applied for the trains on September 23 to take them to Delhi. But, we were denied the permission... You (the Centre) have cancelled the trains, but you cannot break the people's movement with such tactics.
"You cannot scare TMC by making ED, CBI send summons to it. You cannot crush the movement by the people of Bengal for their rights,'' he said.
The Eastern Railways, however, contended that it received the request from the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and unavailability of rakes was the reason behind denial of the special train.
Meanwhile, TMC Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar claimed that a private carrier suddenly cancelled the flight in which several leaders of Barasat parliamentary constituency were to travel to Delhi. ''It is astonishing how a flight has been cancelled that had more than 100 leaders of Barasat constituency travelling to the programme, which had been declared by Abhishek Banerjee on October 2 and October 3. I have never encountered something like this, that due to technical glitch, a whole flight has been cancelled,'' Ghosh Dastidar said in a video message.
Later, TMC Rajya Sabha MP Derek O Brien said in a post on X: ''First, they abruptly cancel special train services from Kol to Del to prevent those who were to travel to participate in protests on October 2 and 3 demanding 10s of 1000s of crores owed to Bengal by BJP union government. Now a flight gets cancelled! Try as you might, we WILL TAKE YOU ON." Commenting on TMC's scheduled protest programme, West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar said the ruling party hired buses to take people to Delhi for a ''staged event'' that does not have the involvement and participation of the masses.
''The TMC has lost touch with the grassroots. Abhishek Banerjee has claimed that over one lakh people will attend the party programme in Delhi. But, I would like to see the actual number. Most of those travelling don't represent the section of people the TMC is talking about,'' he added.
Banerjee had announced on Friday that his party would make alternative arrangements for transporting its supporters to Delhi, accusing the BJP of creating roadblocks after the request for the special train was denied.
''Since the buses will be travelling through BJP-ruled states, we are also arranging for pilot cars to ensure the safety and security of the passengers,'' a senior TMC leader stated.
''Special arrangements for emergency medical assistance are in place. We have also made provisions for their stay in New Delhi,'' another party leader said.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)