Open patronage to corruption and crime in Hardoi

Award RETURNED to Indian Govt
Noted social activist and Magsaysay Awardee Dr Sandeep Pandey has returned the NREGS Employment Awareness Award of Government of India to draw attention to open patronage to corruption and crime in Hardoi, UP. The award carried a citation and an amount of Rs 44,000 which was conferred upon Dr Sandeep Pandey on 2nd February 2009 by Chairperson of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and Congress President Sonia Gandhi.

"I have hereby decided to return to the Government of India, the NREGS Employment Awareness Award, carrying a citation and an amount of Rs 44,000, which was conferred upon me by Smt Sonia Gandhi on 2nd February, 2009. I have been prompted to take this painful step to protest against political patronage being given to corrupt and criminal practices in Gram Panchayat Aira Kake Mau, development block Bharawan, district Hardoi.  This is not only an insult to the workers, but also undermines their legal rights" said Dr Sandeep Pandey, who also is the convener of National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) and a member of national presidium of Lok Rajniti Manch (People's Politics Front).

"Ghamshyam, the husband of the Gram Pradhan of this village, had fraudulently embezzled Rs 6,20,000 from the account of the Panchayat, and had also lathi charged  the workers of the village on 14.1.2009, in full view of the police. Yet no action has been taken in this case till to date. This criminalisation of politics and the influx of corruption in day to day working of government schemes is indeed very sad" said Dr Pandey.

Dr Pandey drew attention to a letter (see the scanned copy) sent to him by the office of the District Magistrate of Hardoi, which states that since only a difference of Rs 56,059 was found in the records, the case does not qualify to be one of embezzlement, as this amount is a mere 5.1% of the spent amount.

Shobha Shukla - CNS