17 Oct 2020: MP: Deepika Padukone, other actors on fake rural job cards
In fact, fake MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) job cards have been issued with photographs of Padukone and at least 10 other film actors and celebrities, as part of a fraud in Madhya Pradesh.
Details: Lakhs of rupees claimed as wages on such cards
These fake job cards have been issued in the names of nearly a dozen residents from the Peeparkheda Naka village in the Jhirniya panchayat of the state.
District officials have alleged that lakhs of rupees have already been claimed as wages based on these bogus cards for such work activities that were never undertaken in the first place.
Claims: Villagers had no idea about the incident
However, villagers whose names appear on these fake cards said they had no idea about the incident.
Reports suggest that a sum of Rs. 30,000 per month has been withdrawn against a card issued in Manoj Dubey's name. Dubey, on the other hand, said he never had a MNREGA card made.
Similarly, Sonu Shantilal was paid for "building a drain," while he denied working.
Allegation: An inquiry into the matter has since been ordered
It has been alleged that the panchayat secretary and employment assistant were involved in committing the fraud.
The CEO of the district panchayat has ordered an inquiry into how these cards were issued and wages released on their basis, promising action against those found guilty.
"In the last few days, large amounts of money have been withdrawn and muster rolls filled," he said.
Scheme: In 2017, nearly a crore fake job cards were canceled
MNREGA, launched in 2006 by the-then Congress-led UPA government, is one of the world's biggest employment guarantee programs.
It ensures employment to the Indian rural population through one job card to each family.
Earlier in 2017, the government had canceled nearly one crore fake job cards issued under the scheme. As a result, over 3.1 crore fake beneficiaries were struck off from the scheme.