Telangana

Centre trying to ‘kill’ NREGS: Rahul

AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressing a meeting at Bandlapalli in Narpala mandal of Anantapur district on Tuesday.– PHOTO: R.V. S. PRASAD

AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi addressing a meeting at Bandlapalli in Narpala mandal of Anantapur district on Tuesday.– PHOTO: R.V. S. PRASAD  

: AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday accused the Union government of trying to “kill” the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).

Speaking at a public meeting organised by the Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee at Bandlapalli in Narpala mandal, where the programme was launched on the same day 10 years ago by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Gandhi alleged that the Centre was systematically cutting down funds for the programme.

Arguing that many economists who met him were also of the opinion that NREGS was the prime reason for the betterment of growth rates during the UPA regime, Mr. Gandhi said NREGS had put money into the pockets of crores of rural Indians.

“Recently, when Arun Jaitley [Union Finance Minister] came to invite me for a marriage in his family, he told me that NREGS was indeed a very good programme. I told him to tell the same to the public rather than telling me behind closed doors. He smiled it away,” quipped Mr. Gandhi, who delivered an engaging speech.

Ridiculing the Jan Dhan Yojna, he said while the government had succeeded in opening crores of accounts, the ‘fifteen lakh rupees of money promised by [Prime Minister] Modi’ was yet to be deposited into them.

“Empty accounts don’t drive the economy, Modi ji . If you are not able to deposit Rs. 15 lakh, at least ensure that money from NREGS gets into those accounts,” said Mr. Gandhi.

He accused the Centre of stooping to the level of stopping payments to the poor under the scheme, even for work that was already done.

‘Two faces of the same coin’

Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who spoke earlier, alleged that the Centre was drastically reducing allocation of funds for the scheme and not making payments in time. Several Ministers in the UPA II Cabinet and Congress leaders, including Pallam Raju, Mukul Wasnik, Ambika Soni, Anand Sharma and former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, spoke of the importance of NREGS.

Congress floor leader in the Lok Sabha, Mallikarjuna Kharge, accused the ‘TDP-BJP’ combine in the State and at the Centre of being ‘two faces of the same coin.’

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 5:50:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/centre-trying-to-kill-nregs-rahul/article8186266.ece

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