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Tripura: BJP-Led Govt Synonymous with Corruption, says CPI(M)'s Manik Sarkar

The former Chief Minister accuses local BJP leaders of forcing MGNREGA beneficiaries to "pay commission" from their wages.
Manik Sarkar

Agartala: Alleging that the BJP-led government in Tripura is "synonymous with corruption", CPI(M) leader and former Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Friday said people of the state would make a mistake again if they allowed the present dispensation to return to power in next year's Assembly elections.

He accused local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)  leaders of forcing beneficiaries of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) scheme to "pay commission" from their wages.

"Despite the strict restriction on using machines in MGNREGA works, we came to know that heavy machinery is used in the rural employment programme.

"Half of a beneficiary's daily wage goes to the pocket of local BJP leaders who deploy such equipment for digging soil. They also seek commission from wage earners," the leader of the Opposition in the Assembly told reporters at Kailashahar.

Claiming that an average of 20-25 man-days under the rural employment scheme had been generated in Unakoti district, Sarkar submitted representations to District Magistrate UK Chakma.

MGNREGA is aimed at enhancing the livelihood security of households in rural areas of the country by providing at least 100 days of guaranteed wage employment in a financial year.

The CPI(M) leader also alleged that the official data suggested that an average of 70 man-days under the programme had been created in the district and several poor families were shown "not found" in the beneficiary list of the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana scheme.

"An anarchy-like situation is prevailing in the state. If the people think their problems will be solved by keeping the present government for a second term, the BJP-led coalition will befool them again," the former chief minister of the state said. 

Sarkar also claimed that several state government departments, such as PWD, rural development, agriculture, forest and tribal welfare used to generate huge jobs for the rural poor during the Left Front regime.

"Now, these departments are failing to provide jobs to the poor people. Nobody knows where the money goes. There are many half-starved people in the district," he said.

If the present dispensation is allowed to continue, the "looting of public money and corruption will touch a new height", Sarkar alleged. 

He appealed to the people to bring change to the government in the 2023 Assembly elections.

BJP Unakoti district president Pabitra Chandra Debnath denied the allegations and said the charges were "baseless".

"The CPI (M) is trying to misguide the people by making false charges against us. The people will give them a befitting reply in the 2023 elections," the BJP leader said.

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