PIL in Calcutta HC seeks CBI probe into irregularities in MGNREGA scheme

Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly, Suvendu Adhikari, on Tuesday filed a PIL in the Calcutta High Court seeking a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme in the state.

In the petition, the LoP also sought an audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India in the matter.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Prakash Srivastava is likely to hear the case this week. In the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), the BJP leader has reportedly highlighted irregularities in the statistics provided by the state government.

He has cited examples where the number of job cards in certain panchayat areas have exceeded the number of people residing there.

“The state government cannot be allowed to be engaged in corrupt practices with the funds provided by the Union government. I have written several letters to different ministers in on this count. I have also given statistics on how the funds under MGNREGA have been diverted by the state government, Adhikari said.

He also claimed that the irregularities have especially become rampant before the panchayat elections in the state scheduled next year.

To recall, on November 7, Adhikari wrote a letter to Union Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, Giriraj Singh, demanding a probe by the CBI or equivalent central agency into the “irregularities” relating to rural job creation under the MGNREGA scheme in the state. Now he has approached the Calcutta High Court with the same demand.

In the letter to Singh, Adhikari had alleged that the state government is resorting to “innovative, malicious and fake” data creation in order to claim “false employment generation” in rural Bengal.”

On the one hand, while Suvendu Adhikari had been vocal on this issue for quite some time, the leaders of the ruling Trinamool Congress have alleged that the leader of the opposition had been playing an “anti- Bengal” role by trying to halt the central dues to the state government.

20221115-122004

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