MNREGA funds misuse: BJP wants Collectors punished
DNA | Mar 12, 2013, 05:14AM IST
Jaipur: The main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cornered the state government and staged a walkout over its inaction against the five district collectors for their alleged involvement in irregularities under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gaurantee Scheme (MNREGA) .
The saffron party alleged that the government was trying to shield the collectors despite the fact that the then Panchayati Raj minister had accepted irregularities and written to chief minister Ashok Gehlot to take strict action against them.
The BJP legislators alleged that the five officials were just given warnings while first information reports (FIRs) were registered against several public representatives including panchs and sarpanchs. The issue was raised in the state assembly by BJP legislator Prabhu Lal Saini.
“You cannot have two rules for one crime. The head of purchase in a district is its collector. When regularities have been established against them in purchase of computers and other materials why they have just been given warnings. On the contrary, FIRs were registered against several public representatives,” said Gulab Chand Kataria, leader of the Opposition.
“Either you take action against the collectors and recover the amount or give the public representatives a clean chit. A committee was constituted on the directions of the chief minister who also accepted irregularities. Then, why officials are being shielded,” Kataria asked.
Allegations were levelled against the then Doongarpur collector Arushi Malik for purchasing computers for Rs85 lakh, then Karauli collector Neeraj K Pawan for purchasing saplings for Rs51 lakh, the then Dausa collector Jogaram for purchasing materials of Rs1.45 crore, the then Tonk collector Subir Kumar for purchasing computer worth Rs1.41 crore, and Hanumangarh collector Naveen Jain for purchasing computers and accessories worth Rs72.21 crore.
The then panchayati raj minister Bharat Singh after conducting an inquiry found officials guilty and wrote to chief minister Ashok Gehlot to take action against the collectors. Furthermore, another committee was constituted headed by the chief secretary, which submitted the report to the state government.
Then, the collectors were issued warnings to work carefully by the government’s department of personnel (DoP), but no action was taken. The government must initiate strict actions against the corrupt district collectors, he said.
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