'Isolated in Renovated Chambers': TMC Says Central Vista Budget Could Feed 1.85 Cr Indians for 6 Months
Trinamool Congress leader and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's nephew Abhishek Banerjee hit out at the Narendra Modi-led Centreal government on Sunday for going ahead with the Rs 20,000-crore Central Vista renovation project in New Delhi at a time when the country is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new Parliament building, with a common Central Secretariat, and revamping of the 3-km stretch of Rajpath have been proposed as part of the renovation project.
Abhishek, an MP from from Diamond Harbour in south Bengal, who is widely considered the second-in-command in the party ranks, wrote on Twitter that taxpayers' money was being used to renovate "Lutyens' Delhi".
"For the same amount at Rs 30 per meal, they could have fed 2 meals a day to 1.85 Cr Indians for the next 6 months. The only explanation is that they want to stay isolated in renovated chambers!” the tweet read.
The Centre is splurging ₹20,000 Cr of the taxpayer's money to renovate Lutyens' Delhi. For the same amount at ₹30 per meal, they could have fed 2 meals a day to 1.85 Cr Indians for the next 6 months. The only explanation is that they want to stay isolated in renovated chambers!— Abhishek Banerjee (@abhishekaitc) May 3, 2020
Sukhendu Sekhar Roy, another lawmaker from the ruling camp, which has been targetted by the state BJP unit for its handling of the outbreak in Bengal, said the Centre should put the Central Vista project on hold. "
Propriety demands that it should be put on hold and the money should be utilised for those struggling to make ends meet during the lockdown," Roy told News18, adding that a part of the money could also be diverted towards research on coronavirus vaccine.
Several opposition leaders in the country have come out against the Modi's government's decision to go ahead with the project during the health emergency, and have argued that the funds could better be utilised for welfare of the poor.
On Friday, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi urged the Supreme Court to give precedence to petitions against the project.
On April 30, the top court had refused to entertain a plea against the project, saying it did not agree to the submission that the project needed to be stayed due to the pandemic.