Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee on Monday alleged that the Delhi Police manhandled and misbehaved with his party’s workers who were protesting in the capital against nonpayment of wages under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in West Bengal, PTI reported.

The Opposition party’s workers sat on protest at Rajghat on Monday to demand the release of funds for centrally sponsored schemes in West Bengal. They were soon told to leave by the police. Videos shared by Banerjee showed security personnel pushing the Trinamool members away from the site.

The Delhi Police said that they had requested the Trinamool workers not to protest at Rajghat, ANI reported.

“Due to that public entry was affected and that resulted in a gathering of people around Samadhi Sthal,” Delhi Police said, referring to the protest. “Therefore, to avoid public inconvenience as well as in the interest of their own safety, TMC leaders were requested to vacate the samadhi sthal peacefully.”

The Trinamool government has accused the Centre of withholding Rs 15,000 crore meant for the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana in Bengal. The MGNREGS, introduced in 2005 by Manmohan Singh’s United Progressive Alliance government, guarantees 100 days of unskilled work annually for every rural household.

Government data released in August shows that the Centre owes the highest amount of MGNREGS dues – Rs 2,770 crore – to West Bengal. It is also the only state for which dues have been pending for over five months.

“The way they misbehaved and manhandled even journalists, it clearly shows that BJP is scared,” Banerjee told reporters on Monday. “If people feel that those who we elected to power are withholding the funds and there is a need to change the government, no one can stop that from happening.”

The Lok Sabha MP announced that 3,000 job MGNREGS job card holders from West Bengal will gather at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to demand their wages from the Centre. Banerjee will skip the Enforcement Directorate summons for questioning over his alleged involvement in the school jobs scam on Tuesday to join the protest.

“The central government has withheld the money of various job card holders for over two years now,” he said.

Banerjee said that a delegation will meet Minister of State for the Ministry Of Rural Development Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti.

“You cannot withhold the earning of 2 crore people for so many days,” Banerjee said. “And if you want to withhold their wages then stop collecting income tax, and GST from West Bengal. You are only taking money from Bengal and giving nothing in return.”

The Bharatiya Janata Party has denied that there is a shortage of funds for centrally sponsored schemes in West Bengal, PTI reported.

Union minister Anurag Thakur said that the funds were stopped after central teams flagged irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGS and Awas Yojana and the state government did not take any action despite several reminders.