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Tripura BJP spokesperson Dr. Ashok Sinha Wednesday said that coming first in the country in MG NREGA implementation is a matter of shame and not something that should be flaunted.

Addressing a press conference at the BJP state headquarters last evening, Sinha criticized opposition CPI (M) MLA Ratan Bhowmik and MP Jitendra Chaudhary for tellies “lies” about starvation deaths in BJP ruled Tripura.

MP Chaudhary previously alleged that Japanda Tripura of East Govindabari village of Dhalai district, 110 Km from here, died due to starvation.

On the issue, Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) chief executive member Radhacharan Debbarma said that tribal people in rural Tripura are facing severe crisis of jobs due to breakdown of unskilled labour under MG NREGA.

“People in responsible positions should not make false statements. MP Jitendra Chaudhary said at a press conference at New Delhi that Japanda Tripura of Dhalai district died due to starvation. This is a lie”, Sinha said.

He added that his party has got reports that suggest he was ill and suffered from dysentery for 4 days before his death.

Dr. Sinha also refuted allegations of another starvation death from Amarpur in Gomati district last year and said CPI (M) was trying to malign the incumbent BJP-IPFT government.

A delegation of opposition MLAs led by Opposition Leader Manik Sarkar visited parts of Dhalai district earlier in January. CPI (M) MLA Ratan Bhowmik wrote to Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb after the visit and sought compensation for Japanda Tripura’s family apart from public arrangement of free ration and safe drinking water in the affected areas.

Replying to questions on whether MG NREGA work broke down, the BJP leader said funds of the poverty alleviation scheme were misappropriated during the Left rule.

“Tripura came first in MG NREGA implementation for few years during Left rule. But after the centre asked for Geo tagging of resources created by NREGA, their mandays came down to single figure. There was massive corruption”, Dr. Sinha said.

He added that coming first in implementation of NREGA is a matter of shame since it meant the government failed to rescue people from poverty.

“One will not work for Rs. 150 a day unless he or she is incapable for earning Rs. 350 which is usually paid for daily labour. This means people are unable to earn otherwise and they weren’t lifted from poverty. It is shameful”, Sinha told reporters.