Ranchi: In the past three years, Jharkhand has witnessed at least 23 hunger deaths. At a time when eligible poor are not getting rations and other benefits from social welfare schemes, ruling party leaders are milking all the benefits and perks of the scheme, that too on time.
BJP vice- president of Giridih district, Mahadev Dubey not just holds a Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA) job card but also Antyodaya ration card, which is mostly issued to individuals from BPL category.
Ironically, the BJP leader hails from the same Jamua assembly segment, of which Savitri Devi was a resident. While Dubey got access to all the social schemes, Devi was denied of all the benefits promised by government welfare schemes. Dubey, not just got the cards, but also managed to get 38 days of work too, in 2019.
The 48-year-old BJP leader is in-charge of the Jamua assembly segment and has two-storey building in Deori. Antyodaya Cards have been issued in the name of his family members. For the uninitiated, Antyodya card, allows a family to get 40 kilograms of rice every month at the rate of rupee one per kilogram, among many other food-grains.
However, the recent hunger death victim, Savitri Devi, was denied of an Antyodya card. Her application for a new card had also not been accepted by the food-grains supply department.
Significantly, not only BJP vice-president has got a job under MNREGA but he has been paid on time and there are no pending dues to be cleared for him.
His ration card details reveal that he has been regularly availing the benefit of purchasing 40 kilograms of rice. His most recent rice purchase was in November month.
A scan of social media profile of Mahadev Dubey will let you know, that he is close to all bigwigs of Giridih BJP like Jamua MLA Kedar Hazra, Gandey MLA Jai Prakash Verma and Koderma’s both present and former Member of Parliament (MP)s Annapurna Devi and Ravindra Rai, respectively.
When contacted BJP’s Giridih District President Sunil Agrawal, he claimed he has no idea about it. He refused to comment on the same.
Jamua MLA Kedar Hazra gave a similar reaction, he said, “I am out of Giridih at the moment. On my return, I shall look into the matter for a better understanding, following which I will be able to comment on the same.”
However, members from the opposition camp were not lax in letting the issue simply pass away, especially with election round the corner. “This is a classic example in Jharkhand to know what a common man and what a politician are getting in the state. Savitri Devi, who had no pucca house and was entitled to all government welfare schemes, was not just denied the Antyodya card but was also deprived of the PM Awas. Neither did she get the much-hyped gas connection under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna, nor did her sons manage to get the MNREGA job card,” said Krishan Murari Sharma, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)’s District Coordinator while talking to eNewsroom.
He added, “In the same assembly constituency, a ruling party leader is getting all the welfare scheme facilities, while Savitri was denied. Dubey Ji has got MNREGA job cards and jobs too; he has also been paid as well while thousands of MNREGA labours are still waiting for their wages for six months now to be cleared by the government in Jharkhand. He is also getting rations on time through his Antyodaya card,” added Murari.
Deputy Development Commissioner Mukund Das, told eNewsroom, “It is not necessary that a socially well-known or a person a two-storey building cannot make job card or get work under MNREGA. But I cannot rule out the possibility of him not working as labour. I will look into the matter.”
However, Dubey, when contacted, defended himself. Speaking to eNewsroom, he said, “I am an MNREGA labour and I also avail ration using the Antyodaya card. Not a single person from my family has a government job. We have 15 members in my family, so I avail of all these benefits.”
Dubey, a graduate in Political Science, added, “I welcome any inquiry in this regard.”