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Cong, Left livid over renaming job scheme

THE CONGRESS and the Communist parties are livid over the manner the Shivraj Singh Government has sought to appropriate the national rural employment guarantee scheme. The State Government is launching the scheme re-christened as ?MP Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme? in 18 districts of Madhya Pradesh from February 2.

india Updated: Jan 31, 2006 12:21 IST

THE CONGRESS and the Communist parties are livid over the manner the Shivraj Singh Government has sought to appropriate the national rural employment guarantee scheme. The State Government is launching the scheme re-christened as ‘MP Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme’ in 18 districts of Madhya Pradesh from February 2.

“The BJP, which has never done anything for the poor, is seeking to take credit for the revolutionary scheme conceptualised by our president Sonia Gandhi,” alleged PCC president Subhash Yadav while talking to the Hindustan Times.

Three days ago, Yadav had written to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh asking him to desist from renaming the scheme and taking credit for it. As his letter was not replied, Yadav has now written to Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention on the issue. He has also written a letter to the Governor.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, Yadav referred to an advertisement published in local newspapers , saying it clearly stated that the State Government has guaranteed 100 days of employment to everyone by enacting a law. The Chief Minister has written a similar letter to all MLAs as well, Yadav pointed out.

BJP organisation general secretary Kaptan Singh Solanki defended the renaming on the ground that “the Central Government and State Government are no different”. “It has been named ‘MP Rozgar Guarantee Scheme’ and not ‘MP BJP Rozgar Guarantee Scheme. After all, the scheme is being implemented in MP and the State belongs to us all”, he told the Hindustan Times.

Solanki further said that as far as taking credit for the scheme is concerned, everybody knows that it is being funded by the Centre. “If Subhash Yadav has any objection, he is an MLA and he better raise the issue in the State Assembly”, Solanki added.

Problem with the Congress is that they are looking at work of the governments from a party’s perspective, he further remarked.

Given the fact that the scheme is very dear to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the State Congress is planning to constitute monitoring committees at the State, district and block level to keep a vigilance over its implementation.

The Communists are also pitching in for their share of credit for the scheme. “The Left pushed the concept and mounted pressure at the Centre to implement the scheme so that the rural economy could be saved from the onslaught of globalisation and jobs could be created for millions of poor without means to fend for themselves”, said CPM leader Pramod Pradhan.

He also echoed the Congress concern about the scheme being appropriated by the BJP to benefit its workers. Pradhan is also opposed to too much of bureaucratic interference in its implementation, as proposed by the State Government.

“We wish that all party committees are formed to identify persons suitable for jobs and works to be undertaken. Otherwise, the scheme’s proper implementation is doubtful ”, said Pradhan.

The scheme will be implemented in 18 districts of the State in the first phase. Hundred days of assured employment would be provided to all the beneficiaries and on failing in doing so, they would be entitled to employment allowance as well.

Eighty per cent of the fund for its implementation would come from the Centre and rest from the State.

First Published: Jan 31, 2006 12:21 IST