West Bengal panchayat and rural development minister Pradip Majumdar has sought an appointment with Union rural development minister Giriraj Singh to request the release of funds under rural development schemes put on hold by the Centre over the past few months. If an appointment is granted, it will be the first time that a minister from Bengal will meet his or her counterpart in Delhi to place demands for the department concerned.“So far, demands of the state were placed by the chief minister before the Prime Minister. But it is significant that the panchayat minister will meet the union rural development minister to place demands for funds,” said a senior government official. A source said that the move suggests how badly the state needs funds to run the rural development schemes before panchayat polls next year. The Centre has stopped the release of funds under the 100 days jobs scheme, citing misappropriation of funds. The Centre also did not release funds under the PMGSY (rural roads) and the PMAY (housing for rural poor) on the pretext that the names of the schemes were changed in Bengal.