Against rules, BJP MLAs favoured in Haryana CM Khattar’s model village scheme
Violation of norms: Govt not following norms that the CM set; against Rs 50 lakh for a village, ruling parts MLAs get Rs 90 lakh; similar pattern in at least six other villages.india Updated: Oct 03, 2017 13:19 IST
Overlooking norms set for Vidhayak Adarsh Gram Yojana (VAGY), the state government has distributed extra (more than mandated) funds, as per an announcement that chief minister ML Khattar had made under the scheme to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs in Haryana.
As per norms announced by the CM, funds up to Rs 50 lakh can be granted to a gram panchayat that has less than 5,000 population.
The VAGY, started in Haryana on the patterns of Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana, requires MLAs to adopt a gram panchayat each and work for its holistic development.
The scheme encouraged legislatures to bring a change in three villages each and make them adarsh grams (ideal villages).
The scheme did not involve any grant of money. However, when it did not receive any positive response, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced grant of funds to the MLAs according to the population of the villages they have adopted.
As per norms announced by the CM, funds up to Rs 50 lakh can be granted to a gram panchayat that has less than 5,000 population, up to Rs 1 crore to a panchayat with population between 5,000 and 10,000, and up to Rs 2 crore for population above 10,000.
However, data reveals that the government has not followed these norms in distributing grants to many BJP MLAs. For example, Bhiwani’s Haluwas village adopted by BJP MLA Ghanshyam Das Saraf has a population of 3,900, for which it is eligible to get funds up to Rs 50 lakh.
But records show Saraf has been granted Rs 91.3 lakh by the government. Similarly, Haryana education minister Ram Bilas Sharma has been given Rs 1.05 crore for development of Nangal Sirohi village that has a population of 6,100. Uchana Kalan MLA Prem Lata has been given Rs 86 lakh for adopting Jind’s Khanda village that has a population of 3,620. The list goes on for many other lawmakers of the ruling party.
When HT contacted Ashok Kumar Meena, director of the rural department, over why extra funds have been distributed to BJP MLAs, he claimed that no norms had been laid for granting funds under the scheme.
The transcript of CM’s announcement is, however, available on Haryana vidhan sabha website.
HT also spoke to a couple of opposition MLAs who have got no money so far under the scheme. They were critical of the government for the step-motherly behaviour. “The BJP MLAs have been getting money in crores, while my party leaders have been given nothing by government. This is all their politics. I have asked Sirsa deputy commissioner many times for funds for my village, but she has always told me in return that money was not available. They have money just for the BJP,” said leader of the opposition Abhay Chautala, who has adopted Jamal village in Sirsa.
It is not that all opposition MLAs have not been given funds under the scheme. Records that HT accessed show the government following proper norms in granting funds to few Opposition MLAs.