DIMAPUR, July 26: The Rising People’s Party (RPP) has appealed to the government of India, particularly the Minority Affairs ministry, to stop the release of Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) in Nagaland.
The party made the appeal on learning that the state cabinet has forwarded a list of projects to be included under PMJVK 2022-23 to the Minority Affairs ministry for sanctioning an amount of Rs 297.80 crore.
In a letter to Union Minority Affairs minister Smriti Irani on Monday, the RPP urged her to consider the track record of the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) government in the state that points to “systemic corruption”.
It also appealed to the ministry to set up and conduct an independent review on the implementation of all the past sanctioned projects in the state.
In the meantime, the party said, the funding or allocation of projects may be withheld or stopped. It added that the government of India can put a full stop to this “madness of corruption prevailing in the state”.
The RPP further urged the Centre to be aware and careful not to perpetuate the “cycle of corruption” in the state.
According to the latest CAG report, the party said, misappropriation of funds, losses, thefts, etc., involving government money stands at Rs 207.25 crore. The CAG report also highlighted that there were as many as 399 projects lying incomplete besides utilisation certificates worth Rs 456.2 crore are due for submission, it said.
The letter signed by RPP vice president Vitho Zao and secretary Akum Longkumer alleged that central schemes like MNREGA are an abject failure in the state where beneficiaries are hardly getting five man-days of wages. The party quoted Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee chief K Therie who said the 21 Nagaland People’s Front MLAs who recently defected to the ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party were paid Rs 2.50 crore each, “which was apparently diverted from MNREGA fund”. The allegation is yet to be refuted, it added.
The RPP said as per SDGI index of NITI Aayog 2021 Nagaland is the worst performing state under six parameters (poverty, health, affordable energy, sustainable cities, industries and infrastructure), worst performing state as per State Energy and Climate index as per NITI Aayog 2022 and worst performing state under the National Health Index 2019-20 (NITI Aayog).
It also said as per the latest NITI Aayog India Innovative Index 2021 released on July 21, 2022, Nagaland is the worst and the last ranked state among the north-eastern and hilly states comprising 10 states.