Mayawati blocks rural plan to keep dalits in fold
January 10, 2012
By MANISH ANAND
To prevent the Congress from taking any credit, Uttar Pradesh chief
minister and BSP supremo Mayawati has blocked the Centre's move to get
the Pradhan Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna (PMAGY), meant for over 50 per
cent Scheduled Caste population villages, implemented in the state.
Also, playing her electoral card, she has ensured over 50 per cent
dalit participation in National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA)
schemes in the state in the past four years.
The national average for dalit participation in the flagship scheme is
just 30 per cent. With Uttar Pradesh having the country's largest SC
population, officials see political compulsions in the state's
decision to not send any proposal for PMAGY.
Senior Uttar Pradesh officials said, however, that the state has a
better alternative, in which Rs 1 crore is spent for the all-round
development of a village having a sizeable dalit population.
The PMAGY too targets holistic development of such villages, but under
it expenditure is capped at Rs 10 lakhs.
"Why would the BSP government allow the Congress-led UPA government at
the Centre take credit for having ushered in development in dalit
villages," a senior member of Ms Mayawati's party asked.
Apart from PMAGY, the Mayawati led UP government appears to have taken
special care to ensure maximum Dalit participation in the
implementation of MG-NREGA. Ministry of rural development's data
suggest that the UP had about 54 per cent SC participation in the
MG-NREGA in 2010-11, 2008-09, while it was 56 per cent in 2009-10.
The national average for the same hovers around 30 per cent only. Over
50 per cent Dalit participation in the job scheme is in contrast to a
mere 20 per cent participation of women in UP, which has been slammed
on a number of occasions by Centre for not meeting the mandatory 33
per cent norms.
The ruling BSP, hit by scams and corruption charges, is relying
heavily on 22 per cent Dalit vote bank for its success in the
forthcoming Assembly polls.
"The BSP is the only political party, which takes a headstart with 22
per cent Dalit vote base over the rival and addition of some other
caste groups effectively makes the party a front runner in the state,"
added the BSP functionary.
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