New Delhi: Raising the issue of the death of more than 130 labourers from hunger and malnutrition due to the poor condition of Bengal’s tea estates, Lok Sabha MP from Darjeeling and BJP spokesperson Raju Bista has taken potshots at Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
Saying that in Banerjee’s regime, the condition of tea gardens has worsened, Bista asserted that even as the workers were dying due to exploitation, the Chief Minister kept her eyes shut.
“She has no information about the crisis-ridden tea industry. As a mark of protest against the oppressive policies of the Mamata Banerjee government, tea garden workers will oust the Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the 2021 Assembly elections,” he said.
“Banerjee is unaware of the ground reality of the tea gardens. Even as more than 130 workers have died, her government has refused to accept that the condition of tea gardens is not good.”
Saying that tea gardens fall under the purview of the state government, Bista said despite collecting revenue from the tea gardens, the West Bengal government did nothing for the industry.
During the Trinamool regime, both tea plantations and workers have been suffering, he said.
“I want to ask the Mamata Banerjee government which scheme they launched for the betterment of tea plantations between 2011 and 2019. For the last ten years, the government has closed eyes towards the plight of tea plantation workers,” the BJP leader said.
“Perhaps Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee forgot to hear about the special financial package of Rs 1,000 crore announced by the Finance Minister for the tea garden workers of Bengal and Assam in the Budget. This has been possible due to the efforts of MPs from north Bengal. It is a fact that Mamata Banerjee and her government have deprived the people working in tea gardens their rights and prevented them from joining under the Minimum Wages Act till date,” he said.