Congress leader Rahul Gandhi slammed the BJP-led government on Friday for reducing the MGNREGA budget and alleged that the scheme, which was the foundation of India's rural economy, is becoming a victim of the Centre's repressive policies.
He also accused the government of misusing Aadhaar against the poor sections of the society by linking it to the scheme under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).
"MGNREGA is the foundation of India's rural economy. A revolutionary policy that has supported countless families. The MGNREGA scheme, which is running the homes of crores of families, is becoming a victim of the repressive policies of the Centre," Gandhi said in a Facebook post in Hindi while citing a news report.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also hit out at the Centre for "axing" the MGNREGA scheme, saying the poor will never forgive the Narendra Modi government.
"Modi government's axe is working on MGNREGA. A 33-per cent cut in the MGNREGA funds in the budget. The minister said MGNREGA is not a scheme to provide employment. States will have to pay 40 per cent money for the Centre's 100 per cent work.
"Narendra Modiji, don't finish MGNREGA, the poor will not forgive," Kharge said in a tweet in Hindi. Gandhi alleged that first the budget for the MGNREGA was cut and now, the linking of salaries with Aadhaar is being done, and said "both these are attacks on the income of the poor".
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government's vision for the Aadhaar card was to provide convenience, identity and economic security to people. But the present government is not only misusing this thinking, but also using it against the poor, the former Congress chief alleged.
In his Facebook post, the Lok Sabha MP from Wayanad in Kerala said, "57 per cent of rural labourers will lose their daily wages if Aadhaar card is made mandatory for MGNREGA. They (government) do not have any policy to provide new employment. It has become the intention of this government only to take away the employment of people and create difficulties for the poor to get their rightful money." "No new idea, no plan. Just one policy -- torture the poor," he added.