Mgnrega, Other Works Hit As Labourers Opt For Campaigning | Hubballi News


HUBBALLI: Finding daily labourers has become a big problem in Hubballi as political parties intensify their campaigning in all the areas of the city. The labour shortage has also hit MGNREGA works, said sources.
Amidst the scorching heat, labourers have increased their demand for salary from Rs 500 to Rs 800 along with lunch, tea, and refreshments. As polling day is nearing, political parties are busy organising functions for which they are engaging daily labourers and are paying them an additional Rs 200 to 300 per day because of the scorching heat. The unavailability of labourers is causing issues at hotels and other commercial establishments.

MGNREGA, other works hit as labourers opt for campaigning

Krishnamurthy Uchila, former president of Hotel Owners Association, said the hotel industry facing a crunch of manpower due to the elections. “For a short time, the labourers are getting more money. Hence, they are opting for campaigning instead of working in hotels,” he added.
A political party leader all parties must rely on labourers to reach out to most voters. “During the last election, labourers used to demand Rs 300. But this time, they are demanding a minimum of Rs 500 along with tea, lunch and other facilities,” he added.
AAP Hubballi-Dharwad candidate Vikas Soppin said both the national parties are spending money like anything. The parties don’t have workers even for door-to-door campaigning and other activities. Hence they are hiring labourers for campaigning, he said.
Parameshwari Patil, a resident of Old Hubballi said, “For the past 10 days I have stopped going to work in a hotel and instead going for election campaigning. The work starts at 8am and ends by 12noon or 1pm. They pay me Rs 500 for this and also spend Rs 300 for lunch, cool drinks and water.”
Electioneering hampers MGNREGA works
Migrant labourers from North Karnataka are now arriving in their native places. Political candidates are allegedly sponsoring their travel and even appointing them as campaigners. They are said to be getting wages of Rs 400 to Rs 700 per day to campaign in favour of the candidates. This has created a labour shortage and hampered MNREGA works.
A panchayat development officer in Gadag said workers are not showing interest to join MNREGA works as they are involved in campaigning.
Guttemma Sunagar, an MNREGA worker in Dammalli in Hirekerur taluk, said they travel 4.5km to the gram panchayat in Betgeri for work but officials say they are busy in election works. “As they are suggesting us to come after the elections, many labourers are joining election campaigns,” she said.
Iravva Goudar, who was returning to Kushtagi at Hubballi bus stand, said that five of her family members are working as construction workers in Mangaluru and returning as they are assured of Rs 600 wages for campaign work along with to-and-fro travelling expenses. “Some leaders have already paid 50% of amount to our elders living in the village,” she added.
Conductors deployed for Mangaluru buses at Gadag bus stand said that normally labourers return home in June when the rainy season starts and schools resume. However, this year the migration has started since the last week of April due to the elections,” they said.
A rural development worker in Bagalkot said normal labourers are being paid Rs 200-300 per day along with food for roadshows and public meetings while leading labourers are getting Rs 600-700 per day. “The same workers are attending the campaigns of different parties,” he added.

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