New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the “devastating plight” of MGNREGS workers in West Bengal. He urged the government to release central funds to the state to settle the pending wages of these workers.
During his recent visit to West Bengal as part of the Bharat Jodo Nyaya Yatra, Gandhi met with a delegation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) workers from the Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity, who highlighted their challenges, reported news agency PTI.
In the letter to Modi, Gandhi emphasized the distressing conditions faced by MGNREGS workers in West Bengal, citing the suspension of central funds to the state since March 2022. “Lakhs of our brothers and sisters have been denied work and wages under MGNREGS due to the stoppage of central funds to West Bengal since March 2022.”
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The letter reads, “I am writing to you regarding the devastating plight of MGREGS workers in West Bengal, and their relentless fight for justice. During my recent visit to West Bengal as part of the Bharat Jodo… pic.twitter.com/39zjxvuXTW
— ANI (@ANI) February 12, 2024
“I was informed that many workers have not been paid for work completed in 2021 due to shortfall in funds,” the former Congress chief said in his letter to Modi dated February 10, as per the PTI report.
Moreover, there has been a “drastic decline in the number of households availing work from 75 lakh in 2021-22 to under 8,000 households in 2023-24”, Gandhi said. “This massive scale down has been brutal on the most vulnerable — women, and SC and ST households. The lack of MGNREGS work and pending wages have forced many to make hard choices — particularly distress migration,” he added.
Gandhi underscored the importance of MGNREGS as a crucial safety net for rural communities during times of crisis, the PTI report added.
He urged the Union government to release funds to clear “pending wages and ensure that the demand for work is met.” He further stated that “we have a duty to rise above our political differences to uphold social, political and economic justice.”
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