Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's suggestion to the Centre to change National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA) into a scheme today came under heavy attack from social activists and NGOs.
Accusing the state government of acting against the interests of millions of workers, the activists strongly opposed the Chief Minister's statement.
Asking the government not to tamper with the Act, Nikhil Dey, a social activist working with Suchna Evum Rozgar Adhikar Abhiyan, said, "NREGA was the result of constant struggle of millions of workers in unorganised labour sector. We will not allow any government to tamper with the act." Dey further said that labour organisations would launch a nationwide agitation if any such move was planed by the Union government.
He said that labour activists will write a letter to Raje asking her to clear the stand and another letter to the Centre to find out how many other Chief Ministers have given similar suggestions.
"We want to know that whether an atmosphere is being created across the country deliberately to change the Act into a scheme," he said.
People's Union for Civil Liberties Kavita Srivastava also criticised Raje's letter and said the Chief Minister was hurting the interests of labourers.
Vasundhara Raje had written a letter to the Union Rural Development minister Nitin Gadkari a few days ago suggesting NREGA act should be converted into a scheme.