The Assembly witnessed noisy scenes with the Opposition members demanding that the State Government should consider the demands of the agitating ‘gaon sathis’ and ‘gram rozgar sevaks’ (GRSs).
Raising the issue during zero hour, Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh drew the attention of the Government to the plight of the agitating ‘gaon sathis’ and GRSs and how they had gheraoed the quarters of the MLAs. He demanded that the Speaker should direct the Panchayatiraj Minister to make a statement in the House in this regard.
Members cutting across party lines demanded that the State Government should fix a monthly salary for these employees.
Making a statement in response, Panchayatiraj Minister Kalpataru Das said that he has already discussed with the representatives of the GRS and assured them that the State Government will consider three out of their six demands.
He said that salary of the GRS will be worked out after consultation with other departments. Besides, the department has been examining the demand for insurance coverage of GRSs.
The Minister, however, said that the demands of ‘gaon sathis’ will be considered by the State Government.
But in no State, ‘gaon sathis’ who come under the Mahatma Gandhi National Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), get monthly salary.
The State Government cannot afford to give salary to over one lakh ‘gaon sathis,’ he said and added that steps would be taken to resolve the other demands.