KOLKATA: Villagers at Dhaniakhali in West Bengal’s Hooghly district forced two local Trinamool leaders and some of their followers to attend a meeting organised by cut money victims.
The leaders were slapped with a ‘penalty’ of Rs 2 crore as they allegedly collected cut money, ranging from Rs 15,000 to Rs 30,000, from hundreds of beneficiaries under the houses for the poor scheme.
Shafikul Islam, Pradhan of Dhaniakhali(I) gram panchayat, and Arun Bera, Trinamool’s local committee president were also accused of collecting cut money for allotting government grants to construct toilets.
“The two leaders attended the meeting. Villagers asked them to clarify why they took the money when the state government’s schemes are meant for poor beneficiaries.
"The followers of Islam and Bera, who used to work as supervisors in the projects under MGNREGA scheme, also took cut money from job seekers. For each toilet, Rs 900 had to be given as cut money,” Dipankar Karmakar, a villager, said.
Islam said he was not in the area as the results of the Lok Sabha elections had been declared.