Cracking the whip on errant officials found guilty of irregularities in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme , Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has ordered the suspension of the former chief development officers (CDO) of Mahoba and Chitrakoot. Ms. Mayawati also ordered initiation of department proceedings against the former District Magistrates of Sultanpur and Chitrakoot, R.K. Singh and Hridesh Kumar respectively.

In all 22 officials were suspended by the Chief Minister on Tuesday for irregularities in the implementation of the employment guarantee scheme in the State. According to an official press release, the other suspended officials include the former CDO of Gonda, Raj Bahadur, the project director of Balrampur, Amresh Nand Rai, the project director of Mahoba, Har Narain and the former CDO of Chitrakoot, Pramod Chand Srivastava. The officials suspended by the Chief Minister were posted in Sultanpur, Gonda, Balrampur, Chitrakoot and Mahoba districts.

Till now 42 officials have been suspended and 69 others charge-sheeted. Adverse entries have been given to 51 officials and employees of the Rural Development Department.

The release stated that first information reports have been lodged in 40 cases of MGNREGP irregularities in 30 districts following which action has been taken against 38 gram pradhans, 30 rural development and panchayat officials and 48 officials belonging to other departments.

Ms. Mayawati's action followed a review of the Central scheme's implementation in the State by independent panels constituted at the tehsil level. Following reports of large-scale irregularities in the programme's implementation, a review by a third party had also been ordered by the Chief Minister. In addition, a physical verification of the works under MGNREGP has been conducted by district officials.

A fresh warning has been issued by the Chief Minister that corruption in the programme's implementation would not be tolerated.