NDA govt re-branding UPA schemes to take credit: Azad

Jammu: Congress today accused the NDA government of “re-branding” or changing nomenclature of pro-people and development-oriented schemes of the previous UPA government to take credit.

Citing the case of MNREGA, Congress leader and former union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad said the BJP leadership had initially criticised it to malign the UPA government but the Modi government had to make a U-turn and was forced to celebrate its 10 years of completion because of the remarkable success and achievements of this scheme and its popularity amongst the rural poor.

“Congress always launched pro-people and development- oriented schemes in the country and the BJP-led NDA government is only re-branding those schemes or changing nomenclature to take credit,” said Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

Referring to MNREGA scheme launched by the UPA government, he said it is unique in the world and has been recognized by the World Bank as the biggest job source on the globe.

Addressing a party rally here to celebrate 10 years of the launch of MNREGA, he said the scheme was aimed at providing right to job to the rural poor and its success lies in the fact that around 13 crore households in the country covering a population of around 65 crore had availed of the benefit when the UPA-II relinquished its office in 2014.

Azad said Congress president Sonia Gandhi had “great concern” for the people in rural areas and villages and the MNREGA scheme was the result of the emphasis of the UPA leadership to uplift the rural poor and to ensure development in villages.

He said some states did not initially implement the scheme in its right spirit but it has resulted in providing job to the people in their own villages and areas and checked the migration of labour especially from states like Bihar, Orissa and Rajasthan to other states in the country for the livelihood.

Azad said the UPA government had laid emphasis on the health, education, connectivity of villages and jobs besides power projects based on nuclear energy, hydel and solar power.

Results of these initiatives are visible in the country, he said, adding initiatives of the UPA-II in power sector would bring remarkable results in near future.

He said lacks of schools were opened in each and every corner of the country, while under National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), health care facilities had been extended.

He asked the Congress leaders and workers to educate the masses and make them aware of the schemes of the Congress party.