Special Correspondent

Congress intentions suspect, says former Union Minister

HYDERABAD: The Bharatiya Janata Party State unit has asked Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the modalities in the implementation of the recently launched National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme in the State.

Welcoming the launch of the programme in Anantapur district, the BJP, however, expressed apprehensions on the program's effective implementation by the Congress Government.

The ruling party's plan to send its leaders and activists to villages to prepare the list of eligible beneficiaries as part of its `Palle Pilupu' programme was leading to suspicion that the Congress was trying to utilise the programme to gain mileage in the forthcoming elections to Panchayat Raj bodies, senior BJP leader and former Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya said.

Half-hearted effort

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, he said that while the list of works and eligible beneficiaries were expected to be finalised by gram sabhas in the villages, there was no effort on the part of the Government in organising the gram sabhas. Moreover, the party's efforts to involve Ministers in the selection of beneficiaries was giving scope for apprehensions that the scheme would be implemented in villages that were Congress strongholds.