Centre hellbent to trouble MNREGS workers in opposition-ruled states

The BJP-led union government is hellbent on troubling and discriminating against opposition-ruled states in sanctioning MNREGS funds. The centre is delaying the release of funds and if we look at the dues, non-BJP-ruled states are at the top. Seven out of the top ten states where the funds are due by the centre are ruled by opposition parties. 

In a bid to settle political scores against the opposition, the BJP is indirectly troubling the rural poor and farmers who are the biggest beneficiaries of the employment generation scheme. Centre is yet to pay MNREGS funds to the tune of Rs. 3,000 crores to states such as Telangana, West Bengal, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, and Rajasthan. 

However, the case of Telangana is different where it is facing a double whammy due to BJP’s discrimination. In addition to keeping the funds due, the centre is also asking to pay back the amount used for constructing drying yards for paddy and other crops. 

Earlier, Telangana farmers used to dry paddy and other crops on roads and other places. This practice was one of the reasons for road accidents during the harvest season. In order to prevent this, the Telangana government has constructed drying yards for farmers using MNREGS funds. Centre, instead of encouraging, has penalised the state for being pro-farmer. 

While the same BJP-led union government has allowed using MNREGS funds for constructing fish drying yards in coastal states, it is not extending the same for paddy drying platforms. Already, the centre is Rs. 139.77 crores due to the state in MNREGS and on top of that it is forcing Telangana to pay back Rs. 151 crores utilised for drying yards. 

Ultimately, MNREGS workers in the opposition-ruled states are suffering because of the central government’s unempathetic attitude.

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