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With an eye on elections, Trinamool makes the first move with financial support for the elderly

Kolkata: While the Bengal government waits for Centre to react on the issue of funds-freeze to the state, a senior Trinamool leader has announced financial support to 70,000 elderly residents from January, setting the stage for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Trinamool’s national general secretary and MP Abhishek Banerjee, while addressing supporters in Diamond Harbour, his parliamentary constituency, on Friday, said that with the help from Trinamool workers, financial assistance would be provided to 70,000 elderly residents from January 1, next year.

“We will help them every month. This is the Diamond Harbour model,” Banerjee, who represents Diamond Harbour parliamentary constituency in Lok Sabha, said. The constituency has been in the news with Trinamool’s opponents ideating over pitching a strong candidate against the Trinamool MP. “Leaders from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh can also contest in Diamond Harbour if they want,” the MP has counter-challenged.

Banerjee said that elderly women from different parts of the constituency have approached him seeking help in form of financial assistance, or a pension. He said that he had been working on the issue for the past month.

The announcement follows Trinamool’s recent anti-Centre protests – in Delhi, followed by a rally-turned-dharna in Kolkata – against freeze of funds, primarily for 100-day rural job scheme.

On November 1, Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee had offered the BJP-led central government a 15-day window to resolve the issue of dues towards West Bengal. The extended-deadline got pushed further with the party meeting called to take a call on the future campaign being deferred to November 23, from an earlier 16.

BJP Bengal leader Suvendu Adhikari, on Saturday, took a dig at the Trinamool leader’s promise made to the elderly residents. He alleged that Banerjee is trying to claim credit for the old age pension scheme in his constituency, as he has announced giving out pension in private capacity.

(Published 11 November 2023, 17:41 IST)

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