New Delhi: A meeting of Members of Parliament (MP) from Bihar called by the Central government to seek their opinion about the development schemes in the rural areas, turned into a political battleground.

While NDA MPs raised the issue of depleting ground water table in the state and demanded the Centre to make alternative arrangements of drinking water and expedite execution of the Pradahan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY), MPs belonging to RJD and LJP accused Nitish Kumar government of taking credits for projects which were funded by the Centre.

Union Minister for Rural Development Vilasrao Deshmukh had convened the meeting, first of its kind in UPA-2, on Wednesday to seek their views on Central schemes being run in state.

The meeting was attended by Union Minister of State for Rural Development Pradeep Jain apart from Ram Vilas Paswan, Syed Shahanawaj Hussain, Shivanand Tiwari and Kirti Ajad among others.

JD (U) and BJP MPs focused on releasing funds for PMGSY and increasing the network of roads in the rural areas. Shivanand Tiwari, Syed Shahanawaj Hussain and Vishwa Mohan Kumar said the agencies entrusted with the task of constructing roads in Bihar have halted work demanding hike in rates.

Raising the issue of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS), some MPs said payments get delayed due to lack of adequate banking services.

Putting a question mark on the intentions of the state government, LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan said the total revenue of Bihar government is Rs 9100 crore, while it claims to spend Rs 50,000 crore. The Centre release Rs 30,000 to Bihar. He alleged the weaker sections of the society do not get benefited from the centrally funded schemes.

JPN/Bureau