Blow to Sonia as activist Aruna Roy stays out of NAC

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New Delhi, May 29: Blasting Congress party's favourite scheme, social activist Aruna Roy has decided not to continue in the UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC) after her term expires on Friday.

The NAC sets the social agenda for the government and had enjoyed great deal of goodwill by its work in UPA-1. However, it seems have lost the trust and clout with the UPA-2 government.

Roy's departure is a big blow to the UPA government as she was the most credible channel of the government to talk to the civil society, which is increasingly distancing itself from the Congress party.

Roy has written to Sonia Gandhi requesting that she should not be considered for another term of NAC and the UPA Chairperson has accepted the request.

"I am grateful for your accepting my request, while assuring your continued support to campaigns for social sector causes being taken up outside the NAC," Roy has said in a letter to Sonia Gandhi.

But what is surprising is her tone of criticism of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress party's flagship project. She has criticised the Prime Minister's office for not taking up the recommendations of NAC on minimum wages to workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

"I do believe that it is extremely unfortunate that the Prime Minister rejected the NAC recommendations on payment of minimum wages to MGNREGA workers and chose instead to appeal the Karnataka High Court judgement ordering payment of minimum wages to MGNREGA workers," she said.

She does not stop there. "Even more distressing is the Government's refusal to pay minimum wages even after the Supreme Court refused to stay the Karnataka High Court judgement. It is difficult to understand how a country like India can deny the payment of minimum wages and still makes claims of inclusive growth. However, I realise that this effort to persuade the Government to respect the minimum wages law must now continue outside the NAC," she said.

Highlighting the role of NAC, she said the NAC working group on implementation of flagship programmes took up several issues related to implementation of the MGNREGA.

"The recommendations of the working group were sent to the Ministry, which has set up a programme advisory group to oversee implementation of these recommendations and the new guidelines that have been issued by the Rural Development Ministry. Despite its contribution to changing the lives of the rural poor, implementation of this crucial flagship programme remains a challenge," she said.

n short, it means that the scheme has not been a great success as claimed by the Congress. If a grassroots worker like Aruna Roy talks something like this, the government ought to take a relook at the project implementation.

She has been unhappy with the government on host of issues and the recent scams may have forced her to leave the NAC of a government under attack.

OneIndia News

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