ED searches at multiple places in West Bengal in ’embezzlement’ of MGNREGA funds

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The ED initiated the probe into the alleged irregularities after filing an Enforcement Case Information Report (EICR) on the bases of five FIRs lodged with several police stations, including two in Murshidabad and one in Hooghly.Adhikari met shah at a time when Mamata is mounting pressure on the Centre over the issue of releasing fund under the MGNREGA. Sources in the BJP said, Adhikari raised the issue of the misappropriation of the Centre’s fund in the meeting and requested not to release Bengal’s dues without probing into the alleged anomalies.“I cannot share details of the meeting with Shah. But you will see the action shortly,” Adhikari said after coming out of Shah’s office.According to the investigating agency, fake job cards were created to collect and siphon money meant for the 100-day job scheme under the rural employment guarantee scheme.ED’s raid aid to be significant in the backdrop of Mamata’s announcement to pay 21 lakh Bengal workers before the upcoming Assembly elections. “It seems the chief minister is all set to make the issue its poll plank highlighting BJP-led Centre’s anti-poor image. And the BJP too, appears to be desperate to bring forward the Mamata Banerjee government’s corruption issue responsible for the Centre’s decision to freeze the fund,” said leader of the ruling Trinamool Congress. TMC minister Shashi Panja described the ED’s act as BJP’s vendetta politics. “After the chief minister announced to pay MGNREGA workers, the BJP Is shaken and doing this. Today’s action show that the ED and the CBI are being used as tools. Follow the chronology. Adhikari met the Union Home minister and next day, the ED swung into action,” she alleged. The BJP has alleged that the Bengal government had issued 2.5 million fake job cards to siphon off the Centre’s fund.

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