Social activist Aruna Roy has opted out of the National Advisory Council (NAC) headed by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and has termed the Prime Minister’s rejection of the council’s recommendations on payment of minimum wages to MGNREGA workers as “unfortunate”.
“It is difficult to understand how a country like India can deny the payment of minimum wages and still makes claims of inclusive growth. However, I realise the effort to persuade the government must now continue outside the NAC,” she said in a letter to Gandhi.
Roy was also backed by rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, but the Prime Minister’s Office cited fund constraint.
Magsaysay award winner Roy said, “Indian democracy will certainly be strengthened if the NAC recommendations are acted upon by government.”
“Not only were you (Roy) an active member who expressed herself freely and forcefully, you were instrumental in guiding some of our most important decisions and recommendations,” said Sonia Gandhi. Roy played an important role in the Right To Information and MGNREGA legislations.