Thursday, July 18, 2024

AP sarpanches complain to Centre on ‘robbery’ of Rs 8,660 crore

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The Andhra Pradesh Sarpanches Association, led by its president, Vanapalli Laxmi Mutyala Rao, and chairman of the Panchayat Raj Chamber, YVB Rajendra Prasad, on Thursday complained to the Centre that the panchayats in the State are robbed of Rs 8,660 cr and demanded the Union Government to order for an inquiry.

Over 100 sarpanches of various panchayats belonging to different parties like the ruling YSRCP, the TDP, the BJP, the Jana Sena who are on ‘Chalo Delhi’ programme reached the national capital on Thursday. Under the leadership of Rajendra Prasad and Laxmi Mutyala Rao, the sarpanches called on the Union Minister for Finance, Nirmala Seetharaman, and lodged a complaint against the State Government that the panchayats were robbed of Rs 8,660 cr.

In a press note released later, they said that they also met the Minister for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj, besides the Secretaries of Finance and the Rural Development along with other senior officers to lodge a complaint with all of them. “We have explained to all of them in detail the pathetic condition of the villages, the panchayats and the sarpanches. We briefed them as to how the panchayats are unnerved and how Rs 8,660 cr funds have been diverted by the State Government,” they said in the press note.

This apart, the sarpanches also complained to the Centre on the diversion of the Rs 35,000 cr funds of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme by the State Government. “The sarpanches, the MPTCs and the ward members, who are elected as per the Constitutional norms and as per the provisions of the Panchayat Raj Act, are being sidetracked and the volunteers who are acting above the laid down norms are being given full powers,” they complained to the Centre.

The 12,918 sarpanches representing the 3.50 cr rural people in the State are not in a position even to supply drinking water to the villagers, they informed the Central representatives. The Centrally-sponsored Jala Jeevan Mission is also being totally ignored, the sarpanches brought to the notice of the Centre.

The sarpanches also said that they brought to the notice of the Centre that Rs 4,045 cr funds of the 2022023 and 2023-24 financial years have not been released yet. This apart, though the sarpanches have been agitating for the past two years for their 16 demands there is no response from the State Government.

The sarpanches said in the press note that they demanded the Centre to register a case against the State Government under sections of the Cyber Crime for misuse of such a large amount of funds and also order for an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

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