AS A flock of pigeons peck at grains scattered on the perfectly manicured lawns of Jaipur’s famous Statue Circle, around 200 agitating labourers struggle to find water. One of them calls up the municipal office for the fifth time. “Please send us at least two tankers of water,” he pleads. Since 2 October, landless labourers from all over Rajasthan have been staging a dharna in the heart of the state’s capital demanding minimum wages for work done under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA). Even as the UPA government celebrates the fifth anniversary of its flagship programme, the decision to freeze the MGNREGA daily wages at Rs. 100 has pushed it into a legal and — possibly — a constitutional tangle.
Read the complete article in Tehelka dated November 6, 2010by