Centre plans to revoke MGNREGA: Tripura CM

Agartala : The Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre is contemplating revocation of the rural job guarantee scheme MGNREGA to help millionaires, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar alleged Tuesday.

The scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) mandates 100 days of employment in a financial year to at least one member of each rural household.

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“If the BJP government withdraws MGNREGA, a storm of protests would rock the nation,” he said while addressing a public gathering organised in connection with the July 15 election to the three-tier gram-panchayats in the state.

“The BJP-led NDA government came to power with the help of rich men and millionaires. Due to the MGNREGA, these rich men and millionaires are not getting workers at a cheap rate.

“Hence, the central government is contemplating withdrawing MGNREGA to help them (millionaires).”

“After increasing rail fares and prices of petroleum products and cooking gas, the central government is now considering revoking MGNREGA,” said Sarkar, a politburo member of the Communist Party of India-Marxist.

“Don’t play with the fire,” he warned the central government.

The chief minister said the BJP-led government assumed office with a slogan that “good days are ahead”, but prices of essential commodities are increasing every day.

“Morning shows the day – at the very beginning, the BJP government has been taking anti-people steps.”

He said the Left Front government was trying to make Tripura a model state.

“Out of the total irrigable crop land in Tripura, 98 percent has so far been covered with assured irrigation and the remaining two percent would be covered (by assured irrigation) within the next six to seven months,” Sarkar said.

He added that there was no case of farmer suicide in Tripura though over three lakh farmers had committed suicide in other parts of India during the past few years.