The Congress is planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the UPA’s flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Act next month even as Modi government sends mixed signals on the scheme.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has convened a meeting of the presidents of the party’s state units on February 5 to finalise plans for befitting commemoration of the MGNREGA, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dubbed as a monument to the economic policy failure of successive Congress governments.
AICC General Secretary (Organisation) Janardan Dwivedi has shot off letters to state unit presidents asking them to step up vigil on the implementation of the rural jobs scheme that aims to provide a minimum of 100 days employment to rural folks, particularly during the lean agriculture season.
Since Modi assumed office in May 2014, Congress has been apprehending cuts in budgetary support to the flagship schemes it had initiated such as MGNREGA and Right to Information among others.
However, faced with back-to-back droughts, the Centre had fallen back on MNREGA to generate employment in rural areas. Now, the government plans to dovetail its flagship programmes with MGNREGA, thus giving the UPA scheme a fresh lease of life.
Towards the fag end of the UPA, the rural jobs scheme had generated 73.42 crore person-days in the April-June quarter of 2014. But during the first days of Modi government, employment dropped to just 33.27 crore person-days in the September quarter and further dipped to 23.67 crore in the December quarter.