Faced with complaints that benefits of NREGA were not reaching intended persons, Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned claims by the Rural Development ministry that the flagship programme was doing fairly well in Naxal-affected districts as compared to rest of the areas.
"Can you say it confidently"? he told the top ministry officials at the Parliamentary Consultative Committee to discuss the programme, according to the members present in the meeting.
Gandhi's reaction came after the ministry informed him that NREGA was doing fairly well in Naxal-affected districts as compared to rest of the areas of a particular state.
Giving the details, Secretary of the ministry Reeta Sharma said government data available from 33 Naxal-affected areas showed that NREGA was doing fairly well in those areas as compared to those not affected.
"We are relying on data provided by states," she said when Gandhi asked if any study has been done on the issue.
During the meeting, Gandhi also sought to know whether the rise in prices of essential commodities have had any impact on NREGA workers, sources said.
The ministry informed him that it has initiated a study to assess the impact of price rise on NREGA workers, they added.
Rural Development Minister C P Joshi chaired the meeting, which was attended by 17 members of Consultative committee. Minister of State for Rural Development Agatha Sangama was also present.