`Panchayati ministers should own up responsibility for scam`

The successive Panchayati Raj ministers of Orissa should take up moral responsibility of the rural job scam under MGNREGA which has been recommended for a CBI probe, Congress said on Wednesday.

Last Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 22:01 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: The successive Panchayati
Raj ministers of Orissa should take up moral responsibility of
the rural job scam under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) which has been recommended
for a CBI probe, Congress said on Wednesday.
Rejecting the state government`s claim of transparency
in the implementation of the rural job scheme, the party said
that there was rampant corruption and misappropriation of
public funds "as pointed out by several social audits."

As the successive panchayati raj ministers since 2007
have repeatedly rejected the proposal of handing over
investigation of rural job scam to CBI, they should own up
moral responsibility now, Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee
(OPCC) chief spokesman Prof Kailash Acharya told reporters.

Those ministers had also told the assembly there was
no corruption in the rural job scheme, Acharya pointed out
reminding that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was heading the
state council to monitor and supervise execution of MGNREGA
works.

The social audit conducted by Centre for Environment
and Food Security had found that Rs 500 crore out of Rs 733
crore were misutilised. The NGO had moved the apex court
seeking a CBI probe into the scam, he said.
"Several social audits have revealed that out of every
Rs 100 given under MGNREGA, the beneficiaries were actually
getting Rs 22. Rest amount were misappropriated," Acharya
said.

Leader of opposition in Orissa Assembly, Bhupinder
Singh accused Patnaik of "insulting" the state`s pride by
stating that no corruption had been committed in the rural job
scheme.

He also demanded Patnaik`s ouster in the wake of the
CBI probe proposed under surveillance of the Supreme Court.

OPCC vice-president Sibananda Ray said the chief
minister should hand over the mining scam, dal scam and coal
scam investigations to CBI "to corroborate his claim of
heading a transparent government."

PTI