New Delhi: Congress has strategised to use MNREGA as a political weapon to ensure victory in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls to be held next year.

The Centre has sent a team of experts to those districts which come under Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi’s parliamentary constituencies. The experts have been sent to look into the matter of execution of MNREGA plans.

The team will carry out an intensive research in the four selected districts and submit the report to rural development Ministry. The attempt has been made to attack BSP chief Mayawati by reporting flaws in the execution of MNREGA in Uttar Pradesh.

Other than the four selected districts which come under Sonia and Rahul Gandhi’s constituency, four more districts have been selected by the Centre in the first phase of Mahatma Gandhi Rashtriya Grameen Rozgaar Guarantee Yojna surveillance in Uttar Pradesh.

The experts, who were also among the founding members of MNREGA, have been included in this Central Surveillance team. The 10-member committee comprises Arun Roy, Dr Jyandra, Nikhil Dey, and ex-IAS Pradeep Bhargava, who will head the panel in the capacity of president.

During the last financial year also, the rural development Ministry had conducted an assessment of the execution of MNREGA programme in the districts of Rae Bareli, Sultanpur, Pratapgarh and Allahabad. And this year also, the Ministry has selected these four districts.

The last year’s report on these four districts contained several anomalies in the execution process. This committee was formed under the presidentship of former Secretary of Ministry of Rural Development, K B Saxena.

The report submitted by Saxena mentioned that social audit of works undertaken under the MNREGA was not maintained; job cards were not issued to the most of poor people in these districts. It also highlighted the late payments made to labourers, the purchase of commodities without quotation and the recovery of job cards from the village head.

The report of these numerous anomalies was sent by the Centre to the state government asking the latter to rectify these shortcomings in the execution of MNREGA plan.

Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain said, “Uttar Pradesh Government did not take the Centre’s advice seriously, therefore the Ministry has decided to send another Central team to these four districts.”

JPN/Bureau