IMPHAL, June 17: The Ministry of Panchayati Raj will be sanctioning a total amount of Rs 370 crores for Panchayati Raj in Manipur through the 14th Finance Commission, asserted Minister of State for Panchayati Raj Nihal Chand Meghwal today.

The MoS, who was addressing a one day political consultative meeting was also quick to add that if there is any report of the State government misusing the fund, then there will be much repercussion from the Centre.

The meeting was held at the residence of ex MLA Thongju Th Bishwajit who had recently joined the BJP.

The MoS who arrived in the State today said he was sent by the Prime Minister to check the needs of the Panchayati Raj in Manipur and check if the State is properly utilizing the funds allocated for the same in Manipur.

Nihal Chand said he will personally meet villagers from the Village Councils and Gram Panchayats. The Rs 370 crore is for development of agriculture in the villages of the Manipur through the Panchayati Raj, he continued.

He further enquired the people of Thogju present in the meeting about the 100-days job card in the area and said if there is any complaint, he will talk with the State government representatives.

He said that he has received information that the villagers were allowed to work for only five days out of the 100 days under the job card scheme.

He said if this is true, then he will need a written complain so that his ministry can process inquiry about the same.

He said the BJP aims to strengthen the villages in the country.

Party workers should put more effort to bring a BJP government in the State in the 2017 election, he continued.

Nihal Chand also said that he has already informed the Chief Minister that the Centre is always ready to help bring development in the State.

Meanwhile, BJP Vision Document chairman, Dr RK Ranjan said the local governing bodies like the nagar panchayat, panchayat and zilla parishad are unable to work to their full potential as they have no power under the present State government.

He further appealed to the MoS to look into the issue.

Meanwhile, BJP Manipur president Th Chaoba claimed that the State government has provided only five days of work for the 100 days of work to job card holders.

Union MoS Nihal Chand promises Rs 370 crore for Panchayati Raj in State



NEW DELHI:  Nihal Chand Meghwal, the union minister named by a woman in a rape case, is “missing”, say the police in Rajasthan. They say they don’t know whether he will show up on Wednesday at a court in Jaipur that has summoned him.

The 43-year-old minister, who has been summoned along with 16 others in the rape case filed in June, was in the spotlight in Delhi today as he took charge of a new department.

Asked by NDTV if he had received the Jaipur court summons, Mr Meghwal said, “No, I haven’t.”

Mr Meghwal, a minister of state, has been shifted from Chemicals and Fertilizers to Panchayati Raj, but he has not been dropped despite the controversy.

He has not been named as a suspect by the police, a fact his party, the BJP has stressed when opposition parties have called for his sacking.

In 2012, the state police investigated the woman’s complaint and closed the case. She then moved court, which summoned the minister and others named by her.

In August, when Mr Meghwal did not appear in court, the police in his constituency Ganganagar said they could not find him to serve him summons as he has been staying in Delhi.  The court then ordered Ganganagar Superintendent of Police Hari Prasad Sharma to make sure the minister received the court notice.

The top police officer was present when the minister, on October 30, participated in a “Run for Unity” to mark Sardar Patel’s birth anniversary. Days before that, he was there to adopt a village.

A lawyer representing the complainant says there is no reason for the police to not track him down during his many visits to Ganganagar.

Sources in Raisinghnagar, the minister’s hometown, say he may not appear in court tomorrow.

The case of the “missing minister” has been seized by the Congress, which has asked PM Modi to explain. The party’s Digvijaya Singh tweeted this morning, “Missing Minister of GOI ! Modi must respond. How can Rajasthan Govt claim that a Minister in GOI can’t be traced ? Good Governance Mr Modi ?” On Monday, the Congress raised questions on many of the 21 new ministers that have joined the government.

The BJP alleges that Mr Meghwal was framed by the previous Congress government of Rajasthan.