West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday gave instructions to all district magistrates to act strictly and on emergency basis on any complaint relating to the functioning of the three-tier panchayat system in the state.
In a communique to all the district magistrates, the chief minister has directed them to file FIRs against those found guilty of fund defalcation related to money allotted to the panchayat system under the different Central government schemes.
The polls for the three ties of the panchayat system namely Zilla Parishad, Panchayat Samitis and Gram Panchayats are scheduled by the middle of the next year.
Sources said that the central teams during the course of survey detected massive irregularities in utilisation of funds under the centrally-sponsored schemes especially under the three centrally sponsored schemes namely the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak YojanaAPMGSY). Thereafter, the Central government stopped further release of funds under the said schemes especially under MGNREGA and PMAY.
However, the opposition parties have ridiculed the chief minister's directive to the district magistrates on this count.According to the BJP spokesman in West Bengal, "this is nothing but a political greasepaint attempt by the chief minister, understanding that the people of West Bengal have started showing revolts against her as well as her party on different issues of corruption like teachers' recruitment irregularities and cattle smuggling scams".
"But such greasepaints cannot reform the internal corruption that had spread like termites within her own party," he said.CPI-M central committee member Sujan Chakraborty questioned "why the chief minister felt the necessity to direct the district magistrates to make FIRs on proven cases of corruption in running the panchayat system after ruling the state for 11 years?"
"Was she not aware of such corruption before or is it just an eyewash considering that she as well as her party are in a tight spot over various issues of corruption," he wondered.