Aruna Roy, a renowned social activist, has decided to quit the National Advisory Committee (NAC) overseeing the implementation of the government's common minimum programme (CMP), as she is "unhappy" with its functioning.
"Of late she has been unhappy with the functioning of the NAC as there has been several violations of the CMP. So, when her membership came up for renewal this month, she opted out," said Nikhil Dey, a close associate of Roy.
Roy, a recipient of the Magsaysay award for community leadership and international understanding, joined the NAC two years back and was a prime mover in the enactment of the Right to Information (RTI) Act and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme (NREGP) Act.
"There were a combination of many factors that has led her to take this decision. Also, there has been no chairperson of the NAC for the last three months after (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi resigned," said Dey.
On earlier occasions, Roy and another NAC member, economist Jean Dreze, had voiced their concerns contending there was a "big inconsistency" between the CMP and the union budget presented in February, as the finance minister had been tight-fisted about certain allocations.
Dreze resigned from the committee earlier.
According to Roy, important steps needed to be taken to create a climate of commitment to the CMP so as to chalk out a comprehensive rehabilitation policy for those displaced by developmental projects.
"The Narmada dam controversy was also an issue that factored in her decision not to stay on," said Dey.
The NAC was set up in June 2004 after the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government was sworn into office. It has been meeting periodically, forwarding recommendations on many subjects and programmes to the government.
Roy moved to Devdoondri in Rajasthan in 1990 and set up the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathana that succeeded in getting the Rajasthan Right to Information Bill passed.
The other members of the NAC include C.H. Hanumantha Rao, chairman, Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Jairam Ramesh, Congress member of the Rajya Sabha, Jayaprakash Narayan, national coordinator, Lok Satta, V. Krishnamurthy, a former secretary, Madhav Chavan of PRATHAM, A.K. Shiva Kumar, adviser, UNICEF, D. Swaminadhan, president, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Research and Social Action, N.C. Saxena, a former IAS officer, Sehba Hussain, member-secretary and executive director, BETI Foundation (Better Education through Innovation) and Mrinal Miri, vice-chancellor, North Eastern Hill University.