Kolkata: Amid widespread demonstrations by people across West Bengal over ‘cut money’, a Trinamool Congress leader in Birbhum on Tuesday returned the money to beneficiaries of a project under the rural job guarantee scheme after he was accused of misappropriating the funds.
Local Trinamool leader, Trilochan Mukherjee, returned money to 141 beneficiaries with one recipient getting Rs 1,617 in a ‘kangaroo’ court at Chatra village in Suri area, local residents said.
“The Trinamool leader was accused of misappropriating about Rs 2.28 lakh fund allocated for a sewerage line under the 100-day work. He returned the money in the kangaroo court,” a resident said.
Despite several attempts, Mukherjee could not be reached for his comments. Days after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee instructed party leaders to return to the public the cut money they took from them, angry local residents continued demonstrations outside residences of several Trinamool public representatives in many places across the districts, demanding return of the amount the accused leaders of state’s ruling party took for reaching government schemes to them.
Local people at Cooch Behar’s Tufangunj staged a protest demonstration against Sachin Burman, a Trinamool leader in the Nakkatigachh gram panchayat for allegedly taking money for recruitment of civic volunteers, the job guarantee scheme and other schemes.
Local residents at Ausgram in East Burdwan district, Khanda village in Birbhum’s Suri and Buniyadpur in South Dinajpur laid siege on houses of Trinamool leaders and members in panchayats demanding the return of their money.
BJP supporters also staged demonstration in front of the house of Sunil Malakar, a Trinamool councillor at Chinsurah in Hooghly, and threatened he will face the consequences if he fails to return money in a week.
State BJP Vice President Joy Prakash Majumder said the demonstrations against Trinamool leaders have spread over 48,000 gram panchayats, which indicates severity of the problem.
Admitting that they took a commission, some accused Trinamool leaders assured the locals they would return the same while some leaders who faced the brunt of the heat from the locals, denied the charges and instead accused the BJP of hatching a conspiracy to “discredit” their party.
Hailing the party supremo’s instruction to return ‘cut money’, state minister and senior Trinamool leader Tapas Roy said Banerjee initiated the drive to clean the system and warned that nobody would be spared if found guilty.