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Row over job scheme likely to snowball

THE ROW over the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is set to snowball with the Centre reportedly deciding to send observers to Madhya Pradesh for assessment of its implementation.

india Updated: Mar 15, 2006 00:21 IST

THE ROW over the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is set to snowball with the Centre reportedly deciding to send observers to Madhya Pradesh for assessment of its implementation.

Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi who has raised the issue in the House several times, today said in Bhopal that the Union Government is considering a proposal to send observers to ensure proper implementation of the scheme.

Referring to reply of Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh to her letter in this context, the Congress leader said that appointment of special observers is under consideration of his ministry.

In her letter to Singh, Jamuna Devi had referred to the alleged politicisation of the ambitious Central Scheme by the BJP Government in the State.

She had urged the minister to ensure proper utilisation of funds provided under the scheme. The Congress is agitated by the alleged attempts of the BJP Government to ‘appropriate’ the scheme.

MPCC chief Subhash Yadav has recently toured 18 districts where the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is being implemented to see its status.

Even on his maiden visit to Madhya Pradesh as AICC general secretary in-charge, V Narayansami identified the scheme as most potent weapon for the party to fight against the BJP Government.

The BJP Government, on the other hand, says that renaming of the scheme state-wise is provided in the scheme itself. Therefore, the allegation of appropriating the scheme is baseless.

All-India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary Digvijay Singh, during his recent visit to Mandla and Dindori, had found faults in the manner in which cards were being made for beneficiaries under the scheme.

Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi has also been very vocal on the issue. She had even sought to raise the issue in the ongoing budget session of the State Assembly.

The Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is being implemented in 18 districts of the State in the first phase and an amount of Rs 1,400 crore has been allocated for the purpose.

Jamuna Devi alleged that no work has been sanctioned under the scheme so far though the scheme has come into effect from February 2, 2006.