Ruling party men ‘pocket’ VGF assistance

Published : 11 May 2021 09:18 PM

Nearly half of the sanctioned money for Special Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) Programme as an assistance amid the Corona crisis on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitre has been allegedly pocketed by the ruling party men in Rajshahi. 

It is learnt, the VGF money and materials are only allocated for the ultra poor and the paupers. But, by enlisting the names as those poor and paupers, many ruling party political leaders and activists are grabbing nearly a half of those relief materials. Though there is no provision of sharing the VGF money and goods among the political party leaders and activists, they are, infact, grasping a lion's share of those by depriving the poorest of the poor. Of the total allocation of the special VGF, each ultra poor and pauper member is getting only Taka 450 per head as Eid Assistance and Taka 500 per head as Corona assitance. The rest of the allocated money is being shared by the local political leaders and activists. 

Rajshahi District Relief and Disaster Management Officer Aminul Haque in this connection said, the VGF assistance is only for the ultra-poor people. The elected public representatives are assigned to distribute the relief goods and the monetary assistance of VGF among listed poor and ultra poor people. There is no government directive of giving any party quota from the VGF allocation. 

According to sources, an allocation of Taka 20 lakh 79 thousand and 450 as against 4,621 VGF cards  has been received for Godagari Municipality. In a meeting of Municipal Council of Godagari on April-30, decision was taken to allocate 2,000 VGF cards to the President of Godagari Municipality Awami League Ayez Uddin Biswas. Through these 2,000 VGF cards, leaders and activists of Awami League and its front organisations will receive Taka 900,000 (Nine lakh). 

Mohammad Obaidullah, Panel Mayor of Godagari Municipality informed, as per the demand from the party leaders, the Municipal Council took the decision to distribute a quota for the party leaders and activists from the VGF allocation. The VGF allocation will be distributed among party leaders and activists according to a list, he added.

President of Municipal Awami League Ayez Uddin Biswas admitted to receive the VGF cards as the party quota. He said soon those VGF allocation will be distributed among party leaders and activists according to the party list. He further said, the Law Maker of the local constituency has given a nod for such allocation for the party insiders from the VGF programmes. 

It is learnt, in Godagari and Tanore upazilas( Rajshahi-1 Constituency) a part of the sanctioned VGF cards for the poor and the ultra-poor are being grabbed by local ruling party leaders and activists. There are also allegations that in Bagmara, Paba, Mohanpur, Bagha and Charghat upazilas of the district, the VGF allocations are also being grabbed by the concerned ruling party leaders. Most of the Union Parishad chairmen of those upazilas informed, they are 'helpless' to the hands of the ruling party leaders and the activists and said, they have nothing to do in this connection. All the VGF allocations are given through the consent of the local member of parliament. They also said, to grab a share by the partymen from the allocations for the ultra poor and the paupers is unlikely and unacceptable.