BJP accuses Chhattisgarh government of corruption in gauthan scheme

08:27 PM Aug 04, 2023 | PTI |

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday alleged that the Congress-led Chhattisgarh government’s flagship scheme — Gauthan Yojna — is dipped in corruption and was meant to benefit the workers of the ruling party in the state, not for the welfare of cows.


The saffron party said it will take up the issue with the Central government and demand a probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or by the Income Tax Department.

Addressing a press conference here, senior MLA and former minister Brijmohan Agrawal said the Congress government has been projecting the Gauthan scheme as a model of success, but it is just the opposite on ground.

In the recent monsoon session of the state assembly, the state’s panchayat and rural development minister had informed that 10,240 gauthans (daycare centres for cattle in villages) have been set up and Rs 1334.65 crore was spent for the scheme, he said.

The government also admitted that there were 3,380 stray cattle were found only in six districts of the state. This meant that Rs 39.80 lakh was spent on each cow. Interestingly, the state government has also informed that 9,303 charwaha (shepherd/ caretakers) were associated with these gauthans, which means three caretakers were deputed for each stray cattle, Agrawal said.


“A total of 10,240 gauthan committees have been constituted not for the (protection and care of) cows, but for the benefit of Congress workers. Corruption was committed through these committees, which have Congress workers,” Agrawal alleged.

He further claimed that the state government had not spent a single penny from its own fund for the scheme, rather Rs 81,636.42 lakh of MNREGA fund was diverted to Gauthan scheme.

Similarly, Rs 9980.67 lakh from 14th finance commission, Rs 7454.53 lakh from 15th finance commission, Rs 576.99 RURBAN fund, Rs 8138.40 lakh DMF fund, Rs 772.32 lakh from infrastructure fund, Rs 961.32 lakh from Swachh Bharat Mission, Rs 71 lakh CSR fund were used for the scheme, the BJP leader claimed.

The CSR fund was only allotted to Durg, the home district of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, he said, while alleging that the MNREGA fund meant for providing employment to the needy was also diverted to the Gauthan scheme to oblige the Congress leaders. The party will take up the issue with the Centre and demand a probe by central agencies, he said.

Refuting the charges, head of state Congress communication wing Sushil Anand Shukla said Agrawal should first answer to the alleged Rs 1667 crore scam in giving aid to cow shelters during his tenure as the state agriculture and animal husbandry minister.

“The BJP should first understand the difference between gaushala (cow shelters) and gauthan (places in villages where animals are kept in day time). The person who has knowledge of the difference between the two should take a press conference,” he said.

“Brijmohan Agrawal levelled false allegations… When Agrawal was the agricultural and animal husbandry minister in the state, an alleged scam to the tune of around Rs 1667 crore had happened in giving aid to cow shelters…” Shukla said.

In gauthans, apart from cow dung and urine procurement, several income-generating activities like community vegetable gardening, poultry farming, fisheries, food processing, vermicompost and super compost production are being conducted. In some districts, gauthans have been developed as rural industrial parks by the state government.


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