(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 09, 200
Congress, BJP Mar Pro-People Schemes with Corruption
B L Singhvi
IT goes without saying that
corruption and scandals
are an integral part of the capitalist system where the rich, and those
aspiring to be rich, are engaged in all kinds of dirty tricks to make a
overnight. Yet, one could definitely expect some curb on corruption
prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, known as Mr Clean, Congress general
Rahul Gandhi and the Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot all keep
against corruption and, at the same time, the BJP keeps talking of
character and sacrifices. However, what we see in the tribal areas of
and in particular in the
FRAUD IN A
The situation is such that the corrupt are depriving the genuine beneficiaries of their due benefits in whatever pro-people schemes the central and the state governments had had to initiate under the pressure of the masses and the Left. The panchayat related schemes, self-help groups (SHGs), the tribal rights legislation, the rural employment guarantee scheme, the loan waivers for the peasants, the bank loan schemes for the unemployed --- all are suffering the same fate.
For example, the scheme of self-help groups are meant for women of the families below poverty line (BPL), but it has become a cruel joke for the tribal women of Rajasthan. In Lathuni
(Dharawan) village panchayat of
preponderant Jhadol tehsil of
The fraud perpetrated by these latter people was like this. In collusion with Lalita Devi and the PNB officials, Prem Devi forged the signatures of several women, and got a loan from the said PNB branch for the SHG she is supposed to serve. Understandably, there must have been no one to verify the signatures as the PNB officials were also involved in this fraud and conspiracy. Then, showing this loan amount as the seed money, these people received from the state government a grant which is equal to half of the seed money under the SHG scheme. Then they returned to the bank the loan that they had contracted, and pocketed the grant money amounting to lakhs of rupees. Members of the SHG did not have an inkling of this fraud.
When the members of the SHG came to know about this fraud, they brought it to the notice of Anop Lal, a CPI(M) worker. But the bank manager and the cashier refused to talk anything about it when Anop Lal contacted them for the required information. Then he brought it to the notice of CPI(M) district secretary B L Singhvi. Though the latter had approached the deputy inspector general of the Vigilance Department, district collector and the district planning officer by June 30, no action has as yet been taken. The district collector’s reply at that time smacked of callousness, while others had assured of action.
Similarly, a complaint was sent
to the chief minister
and its copies were sent to various newspapers, but to no avail. The
coming out from
This is the story of just one self-help group, and there is reason to believe that bungling is going on in other SHGs as well. On the other hand, total inaction from the government side is making the beneficiaries indifferent about the ongoing frauds. But the CPI(M) is planning to initiate an agitation on this issue.
FRAUD IN NREGA,
However, various newspapers have
printed and are
printing the news of bungling in the rural employment guarantee scheme,
most of the panchayat bodies involved have sarpanchas
belonging to the Congress or the BJP. Their modus
operandi is that they get fake muster rolls prepared in collusion
panchayat secretaries and thus appropriate a part of the wages that
the government for the NREGA workers. When, for example, the muster
roll in the
Mawli panchayat was examined, it was found that persons currently
Similarly, ration dealers keep most of the coupons with themselves instead of passing them over to the ration cardholders. Occasionally, they give a small amount of food grains, sugar or kerosene oil to the common people, and sell a large part of these commodities in the black market. Leaders of the two major parties are their protectors in this bungling.
The act relating to the tribal people’s rights over the forests was implemented in Rajasthan when the BJP was in power here. At that time, the BJP as well as Congress workers made a lot of money by selling to the tribals the official allotment forms. The state government stipulated that it was necessary for a tribal to fill up this form in order to claim his rights. Though these forms were declared to be free of cost, workers of these two parties made them a source of their income. The state government formed village committees under the act, but they were stuffed with BJP and Congress workers arbitrarily; not a single meeting was called for constituting a village committee. Many of the committees sold the printed forms to raddiwalas; several others refused to accept the filled-up forms from the tribals and the latter had to deposit their forms in the panchayat samities. Later, on coming to power, the Congress state government declared that camps would be organised at the panchayat level for the allotment of land pattas. But such camps have not been organised in several areas, and corruption is rampant in the camps wherever they have been organised. Not a single tribal has so far received a land patta.
But the biggest irony is that a sizeable section of the media is seeking to cover up such cases of corruption and some of the media institutions are even resorting to a disinformation drive about West Bengal, where in fact the panchayati raj system, Self-Help Groups and other such institutions have to an extent brought a change in the life of the common people for the better.