ndia’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) employs about 50 million men and women every year and offers an important opportunity for in-vestigating the link between public works spending and the politi-cal allocation of funds. First of all, MGNREGS is derived from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which grants citizens the “right to work” on local in-frastructure projects at a set minimum wage. This is one of the few if not the only program in the world to nest a government workfare program within a legal entitlement. As such, MGNREGS is ostensi-bly designed to be a self-targeting and demand-driven program, where labor is aggregated and public works are selected at the lo-cal level before final approval at higher levels of government. Sec-ondly, MGNREGS also put in place a suite of accountability and transparency mechanisms, including but not limited to publicly-available data and social audits. The extent to which these unique features of MGNREGS have eliminated avenues for taking ad-vantage the program for political gain is a question worth exploring.