KTR, Kavitha slam Centre for its MGNREGA policy, ask farmers to protest on Friday

The Central government has asked the Telangana government to return ₹151 crore of MGNREGA funds spent to build crop-drying platforms.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Dec 22, 2022 | 3:13 PM Updated Dec 22, 2022 | 3:14 PM

Women engaged in MGNREGA work.

Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS) leaders have taken a serious exception to the Central government sending a notice to the Telangana government to return ₹151 crore of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds which the latter spent on the construction of crop-drying platforms in the state.

BRS working president KT Rama Rao called upon the farmers to take part in protests in large numbers at district headquarters across the state on Friday, 23 December.

In a statement in Hyderabad on Thursday, he said that every action the Centre was taking with respect to Telangana was reflecting how much hatred it had for the people of the state.

“Why should the Centre object if the state builds crop-drying platforms? Why should it carry on a campaign that the state was diverting funds released for MGNREGA works?” KTR asked.

He also wondered what justification the Central government had to argue that the MGNREGA funds were diverted for the construction of the crop-drying platforms when it was meant for a scheme to help farmers.

He asked how the BJP was allowing fish-drying platforms in other states but opposed the construction of paddy-drying platforms.

He recalled the Telangana government and the BRS writing to the Centre to allow agriculture works under MGNREGA.

“The state advised the Cetnre to this effect, keeping in view the interests of the farmers, and yet it did not act on it. Even the chief minister wrote to the Centre to allow agriculture works under MGNREGA. On the other hand, the Centre was trying to water down the MGNREGA,” he said.

Kavitha chimes in

Meanwhile, BRS MLC and former MP K Kavitha voiced a similar demand while addressing a news conference in Nizamabad.

“We demand that the BJP integrate agriculture works into the MGNREGA scheme. The Centre appears to be anti-farmer and at the same time pro-corporate,” she alleged.

“The Centre has written off ₹19.40 lakh crore borrowed by corporates. This is almost equal to the one-year budget of the country. BJP leaders were sleeping while corporate entities were looting the nation. We need zimmedar chowkidars,” she said, demanding that the “looteras” be brought back to the country.