The government’s first ever meet with regional parties on its flagship rural job scheme — National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) — on Tuesday turned out to be a flop show.
Out of the 43 regional parties invited, leaders of only seven groups attended the meeting chaired by Union Rural Development Minister CP Joshi.
Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan, Forward Bloc general secretary Debarata Biswas and Danish Ali of Janata Dal (Secular) were among those who skipped the meet.
Asked the reason for low attendance, Joshi said: “It shows their intention not ours. Ours is very clear. They are answerable to people for their absence.”
The seven leaders were Rashtriya Lok Dal chief Ajit Singh, Bharat Kumar Raut of Shiv Sena, Telugu Desam Party’s Namo Nageshwar Rao, Ranjeet Singh Bahmpura from Akali Dali, Bahrul Islam of All India Democratic Front, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha’s Babulal Marandi and Mohammad Bashir of Muslim League.