Lucknow/New Delhi: Hitting back at the
Centre, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday rejected
as "politically motivated" Union Minister Jairam Ramesh`s
allegations of embezzlement and misuse of funds in
implementation of MGNREGA in her state.
Mayawati in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in
this regard today also accused the Rural Development Minister
of having a pre-conceived agenda and arriving at conclusions
without taking cognisance of steps taken by her government.
Ramesh swiftly rejected the charge, asserting there is
"no politics" involved and that his letter to the BSP supremo
in the poll-bound state is based on reports of National and
State level monitors. He had also dared her to order a CBI
probe on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment
Guarantee Act(MNREGA) implementation in UP.
"There is no politics involved. My letter is based on
reports of NLMs (National Level Monitors) and SQM (State
Quality Monitor) who found embezzlement of funds. There are
instances of deliberate misuse of MGNREGA funds (in some
districts)," Ramesh said of his communication to Mayawati
which prompted her to dash of a letter to the Prime Minister.
There were "deliberate instances" of embezzlement of
funds in the BSP ruled state and "overwhelming" evidence
against officials, he said, adding he would not hesitate to
recommend a CBI probe even in Congress-ruled states if any
irregularities in MGNREGA implementation were detected.
Dismissing the charges made by Ramesh, Mayawati said,
"The minister, through his letter, attempted to score
political points by alleging misuse of funds by the UP. The
letter was released to the media much before it was received
here confirming the intentions of the minister."
Ramesh had earlier accused the Mayawati government of
"continuing inaction" in instances of "grave irregularities"
in the implementation of MGNREGA.
On withholding release of funds under MGNREGA, Mayawati
said funds released by Centre were not a largesse but form a
part of the revenue sharing mechanism under federal system.
"It would be appropriate, if the minister is apprised of
the Centre-state fiscal arrangements provided in our
Constitution. It is obvious that Ramesh has a pre-conceived
agenda and has arrived at the conclusions without taking any
cognisance of the steps taken by state government," she said.