Aizawl: The Central Schemes Monitoring and Vigilance Cell of BJP Mizoram Pradesh on Monday filed a petition to Governor Dr Hari Babu Kambhampati urging him to constitute a high-level inquiry committee to probe the alleged mismanagement of MGNREG (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee ) Scheme and anomalies in the implementation of the Centre’s scheme by the Mizoram government.

The party also lodged a complaint to the Union Minister of State for Rural Development Faggan Singh Khulaste in connection with the alleged mismanagement of and anomalies in the implementation of the MGNREG scheme in the state, BJP’s Central Schemes Monitoring and Vigilance Cell vice president Lalremsangi Fanai said.

Although the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga Zoramthanga is part of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre, the party does not work with the saffron in Mizoram.

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In its petition to the governor, the BJP alleged that there were anomalies and circumvention of rules in the implementation of the MGNREG scheme under the MNF government.

It said that the state government did not follow Section 12 of the MNREG Act.

The act provides the formation of a state employment guarantee council and expressly mentions, inter alia that “not more than 15 non-official members nominated by the state government from Panchayati Raj institutions, organizations of workers and disadvantaged groups” should be in the council, the petition said

The act further mentions that “not less than one-third of non-official members nominated under this clause shall be women,” it said.

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The petition said that the Mizoram government has unfortunately not followed these guidelines and demanded that a fair number of non-official public representative members irrespective of party affiliation be immediately nominated as non-official members in the state employment guarantee council as demanded by the act.

Though the state rural development’s notification in November 2020 mentioned that three members from villages councils, who belonged to the MNF party, were appointed as non-official members, the appointed members have never attended the council meeting so far, it said.

The opposition BJP also alleged in its petition that the state employment guarantee council resolved to distribute MGNREGS material component works among DEC(District Employment Council), BEC (Block Employment Council) and VEC(Village Employment Council) in the ratio of 40:30:30 in violation of 

guidelines under the Act and rules thereunder.

“This is a clever way of siphoning off the fund by the dishonest officials and their accomplices. We have proof beyond doubt that a lot of money has been squandered in the system,” the petition said, adding that the village employment councils have never received 30 per cent fund earmarked for them as power is usurped by block and district authorities.

The letter also accused the ruling government of giving undue favour to MNF party workers.

The BJP said that Union Minister of State for Rural Development Faggan Singh Khulaste during his visit to Aizawl in February was shocked to observe such alleged flagrant violations of rules and took up the matter during his meeting with the state chief minister. 

Fanai said that the governor assured them of necessary actions measures and take up the matter at the earliest.

Meanwhile, state rural development minister Lalruatkima denied the allegations and said that the required non-official members, including women, have been already appointed as per the guidelines.

He also ruled out that funds were squandered for other purposes.

The minister claimed that the state employment guarantee council had decided to utilise the material component at the level of DEC, BEC and VEC in the ratio of 40:30:30 for better implementation of the MGNREG scheme.

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