Days after the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh said that it had allocated 1.25 crore jobs in a single day, the Congress on Sunday termed the claim a “fraud” and alleged that youths are instead ending their lives for lack of employment. The party also demanded inceasing the number of workdays under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) to 200.
“The BJP government is boasting of providing 1.25 crore jobs, which is a false claim and a fraud, and deceit against the unemployed in the state. It had promised to provide 2 crore jobs every year. What happened to that promise? The unemployment rate in the state is at the highest in 45 years,” said Congress president Ajay Kumar Lallu.
He claimed that the state government is taking credit for providing jobs to those who have already been engaged in traditional professions for generations.
“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, there is an economic disaster. All the major indigenous industries in the state, including glassware, brassware, carpet, weaving, furniture, leather, hosiery, dairy, pottery, fishery-hatchery etc, have been affected. Weavers are in a bad condition and there is no government support for them,” the Congress leader alleged.
Of the 1.25 crore jobs allocated by the Uttar Pradesh government under different schemes and programmes, approximately 60 lakh jobs have been provided under the Rural Development Panchayati Raj Department, majority of which are under MGNREGS, and another nearly 50 lakh in MSME units across the state, the government had announced on Friday.
People are, Lallu said, killing themselves by suicide due to financial distress worsened by the pandemic. Citing an example, Lallu said that a migrant labourer in Banda district, who had returned from Surat, hanged himself on Friday. The worker, who was employed in a sari printing company in Surat, returned to his village 20 days ago and used to live there with his wife, the Congress leader said.
At least 20 people have ended their lives in Banda since the lockdown was announced on March 25.
State Congress vice-president Virendra Chaudhary said the situation is worse in rural areas alleging that the silk industry in Eastern UP, including Varanasi, carpet industry in Bhadohi and shoe-making units in Agra have laid off a large number of workers as exports have been affected. He demanded that while skilled workers should be given employment guarantee depending on their qualifications, MGNREGS should provide 200 workdays.
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