Jairam to Mayawati: Allow CBI to probe MGNREGA

New Delhi: Accusing Mayawati Government of not taking adequate action against those allegedly involved in embezzling MGNREGA funds, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has dared the UP Chief Minister to recommend a CBI probe into its implementation if she had nothing to hide.

In a hard-hitting letter to the Chief Minister of the poll-bound state, Ramesh alleged that the Mayawati Government "has not been taking any worthwhile action" on the findings and recommendations of National Level Monitors (NLMs) appointed by his Ministry and State Quality Monitor (SQM) in relation to implementation of MGNREGA.

"…If the state government has nothing to hide and has a clear conscience, it should have no objection to our request to have a thorough CBI inquiry conducted into MGNREGA implementation in some districts of the state based on the findings the NLMs and SQMs and the various media reports that have apppeared," the Minister said.

Ramesh said he was looking forward to hearing from Mayawati and her "concurrence for an urgent CBI probe" into the implementation of MGNREGRA in Balrampur, Gonda, Mahoba, Sonbhadra, Sant Kabir Nagar, Mirzapur and Kushinagar districts.

Pressing further, Ramesh said, "The need for such a CBI probe is urgent since the labour budget under MGNREGA has exceeded Rs 5000 crore in 2011/12 in UP which, incidentally, has all been borne by the Central Government".

"The criminal conspiracies in these districts to defraud the central and state government appear to be as scandalous as what has been the case with the National Rural Health Mission in the state which is the subject of an ongoing CBI investigation," he said in the letter dated October 24.