TDP president and former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N. Chandrababu Naidu on Saturday challenged that he would quit politics if he could not prove “irregularities” in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in the state.
“The NREGP has turned into a major scandal in Andhra Pradesh as a whopping Rs 4,000 crore have been misappropriated by Congressmen, including some ministers. I am ready to prove this failing which I shall quit politics,” Mr. Chandrababu told a press conference after the state Assembly was adjourned for the day on the issue today.
The Leader of Opposition alleged that all norms related to NREGP have been totally violated as works were being given away on nomination basis.
“Instead of employing people, the Congress leaders are deploying machines for works and pocketing the funds. The Rural Development Minister himself allotted works worth Rs 20 crore in this fashion,” he pointed out.
Mr. Chandrababu said the government ran away from the House by abruptly adjourning it without enabling a discussion on the irregularities in NREGP.
“Not just this issue, but the government had run away from discussing many other serious issues of public concern like price rise, rehabilitation of flood victims, the unprecedented power crisis, handloom weavers’ plight, suicides by farmers and large-scale corruption in irrigation projects.
The Congress government is making a mockery of democracy,” the TDP chief said.
Mr. Naidu also came down heavily on Assembly Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy for failing to run the House effectively by protecting the interests of the members.
“He (Speaker) is acting like a ‘super human being’ and not like a normal person. His behaviour towards opposition members is totally abhorring,” Mr. Chandrababu said.
CPI(M) floor leader J. Ranga Reddy and CPI floor leader N. Mallesh also deplored the Speaker’s attitude and said it was unbecoming of his position.
“As opposition parties it is our duty and responsibility to raise issues of public concern in the House.
Instead of allowing a discussion on the issues, the government was trying to stifle the opposition voice by adjourning the House abruptly,” they criticized.
The opposition leaders said they would come up with a new strategy on Monday to corner the government on critical issues.