KOLKATA:At a time when West Bengal has been ravaged by floods, with people clamouring for relief, Mamata Banerjee-led TMC Government has decided to spend several crores on ‘Rakhi utsav’ drawing flak from the Opposition, particularly the women leaders.
After doling out crores of rupees to clubs to win over the youths in the state, with less than a year left for the state Assembly polls, the TMC Government has decided to spend crores of rupees to celebrate ‘rakhi utsav’ at all the 341 blocks in the state on August 28, the day of ‘RaksHabandhan’ when sisters tie colourful bands on the wrists of their Rakhi brothers.
The state Youth Welfare Department will bear the expenses and funds will be distributed through elected corporators and Municipal Councillors. In fact, the announcement comes at a time when more than 60 lakh flood-hit in 12 districts of the state are still awaiting relief from government agencies. Mamata herself had pulled up several officials for it. Moreover, the state has a debt burden amounting to several thousand crores. Questions are being raised in the corridors of the State Secretariat whether the contract to procure crores of rakhis would be given to a film producer close to Mamata, who has a rakhi manufacturing unit.
Film star- turned- BJP leader Rupa Ganguly castigated the TMC saying, “Can the TMC men consider any woman as their sister? For them women are commodities to have fun. This rakhi festival is another way of rewarding criminals in her party and dole out public funds with an eye to gain votes for the polls.”
CPM PolitBuro member Brinda Karat remarked, “Before she organises such a festival she should ensure that rakhis are not tied on rapists and criminals whom the TMC is protecting.”