MNREGS job card ‘issued’ in BJP MLA’s name, inquiry ordered

The Dangs District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) has launched an inquiry into allegations that local BJP MLA Vijay Patel and his wife were issued job cards under the under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MNREGS).

The allegations have been levelled by a local Congress leader. This assumes significance as Patel has been renominated by the BJP from the Dangs constituency for the December elections.

"We have ordered an inquiry into the allegations levelled against Vijay Patel," said DRDA director of Dangs S M Sangada, adding that a person falling in the Above Poverty Line (APL) category can also have a job card beside BPL families.

Copies of their job card and muster rolls attributed to the DRDA, which are with The Indian Express, show that Patel and his wife Hansa worked for hundred days under MNREGA in 2010 and 2011, and got paid.

The documents show that the couple worked under MNREGA for construction of protection wall and roads at Pimpri and Hanavat villages in the district. Their names show in the muster roll with job card number GJ-14-003-058-003/464622451. Their wages amount had been deposited in their post office account number 362203 at Pimpri.

Talking to The Indian Express, Patel said, "I never applied for a job card and I have not even worked under MNREGS. I have a business and own a petrol pump. I suspect somebody might have made a job card in my name and even used my wife's name and withdrew money. I will contact the department concerned and request them to investigate the matter."

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