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HindustanTimes Sun,21 Sep 2014

North India

Ramesh changes tack, praises didi for Jangalmahal
Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 08, 2012
First Published: 17:40 IST(8/11/2012)
Last Updated: 01:38 IST(9/11/2012)

Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who recently took a dig at West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee over her remarks that the UPA government is "brain-dead", showered lavish praises on the chief minister on Thursday even describing her as a role model of political mobilisation in Maoist-affected areas.

"I wish other chief ministers follow Banerjee's political approach for Maoist-affected areas. She has transformed the Jangalmahal area of her state through her political intervention," Ramesh said in an apparent bid to win over the estranged ally.

Ramesh had recently shot a letter to Banerjee declaring release of funds for rural projects in Bengal and also adding that his gesture "reflects how sensitive the so-called brain-dead government in Delhi is to the needs of people of West Bengal."

A furious Banerjee posted the letter on Facebook and slammed the statement as "clearly vindictive, unethical and unconstitutional."

On Thursday, the appreciation was, however, mutual.

Subrata Mukherjee, the rural development minister of the state and the senior-most minister in Banerjee's cabinet met Ramesh and said that he is acting "like a statesman" to help Bengal in rural development projects.

"We are doing good work in rural development because the Centre is helping us," Mukherjee said. Ramesh returned the accolades and said, "I am extraordinarily fond of Mamata. Despite her withdrawal of support, my personal fondness for her hasn't diminished."


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