Coalition partners in the MDA government have started accusing the ruling NPP of misusing the FOCUS and FOCUS Plus schemes for its own political mileage ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections in the State.
The UDP, which is a major coalition partner of the MDA government, has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against the alleged misuse of the FOCUS and FOCUS Plus schemes by NPP ministers and MLAs.
In a complaint sent to the Chief Election Commissioner today, UDP vice president Allantry F. Dkhar informed that there are some MLAs and ministers associated with NPP who are misusing the FOCUS and FOCUS Plus schemes “which is in direct contradiction towards the officially declared beneficiaries who are farmers of Meghalaya”.
According to Dkhar, Meghalaya has launched a welfare programme of Rs 200 crore in response to the financial troubles that farmers have experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma has visited numerous districts and blocks across the State during the last three months to distribute the FOCUS and FOCUS Plus schemes.
“Farmers are grouped into producer groups for this programme and each member of the group receives Rs 5000. The funds, according to Sangma, can be used as seed money to help farmers scale up their operations,” Dkhar said in the complaint.
“What figures as an anomaly is the fact that certain MLAs as well as ministers are blatantly distributing such schemes in areas where farming is not possible. This goes to show that for political benefit, misuse is the name of the game. I strongly apprise your good office to kindly take note of this and execute relevant exercises, so as to not deprive the targeted farmers,” Dkhar added.