Orders empower district in-charge Ministers to allot works under NREGP
‘GOs violative of the spirit of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments’
Narayana suspects government could give rural works to Congress leaders
HYDERABAD: Opposition parties in the State have demanded that the government withdraw its orders (GO Ms 271, 272) empowering the district in-charge Ministers to allot works under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme.
The latest GOs, the Opposition parties claimed, were violative of the spirit of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional amendments and they had been issued to “empower” the Congress leaders with an eye on the ensuing local bodies’ elections. Opposition parties, including the Telugu Desam, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, Praja Rajyam and Lok Satta, have decided to call on Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, Panchayat Raj Minister Botcha Satyanarayana and Rural Development Department secretary K. Raju and to represent the matter which would be followed by “direct action” in the issue.
CPI State secretary K. Narayana, CPI (M) State secretary B.V. Raghavulu, TDP senior leader B. Gopalakrishna Reddy, PR official spokesman D. Sravan Kumar and Lok Satta spokesman K. Srinivas Rao participated in a round table convened by the CPI on Tuesday.
Dr. Narayana suspected that the government was preparing ground for entrusting works pertaining to rural roads, drainage and other sectors, involving an estimated Rs. 700 crore, to Congress leaders and cadres. Empowering district in-charge Ministers to allot the works would dilute the powers of the local bodies besides giving scope for various irregularities.
Mr. Raghavulu said that while it was mandatory to spend amounts earmarked for NREGP on workers, the government was trying to divert the funds for purchase of construction material. This would, in turn, give scope to Congress leaders to indulge in irregularities in the purchase of cement, steel and other material.
Mr. Gopalakrishna Reddy criticised the government for its efforts to further dilute the powers of the local bodies at a time when political parties were agitating for more powers to them. He wanted the parties to take a legal recourse if the government failed to scrap its orders.
Mr. Srinivas Rao and Mr. Sravan Kumar too alleged that the government was trying to convert the NREGP into “Congress workers employment guarantee scheme” by issuing such orders.