Mamata must be given a long rope, says Jairam | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Mamata must be given a long rope, says Jairam

At a time when the state unit of the Congress upped its ante against Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal, union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday batted for the Congress-Trinamool Congress ally.

delhi Updated: Jan 07, 2012 02:02 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji

At a time when the state unit of the Congress upped its ante against Mamata Banerjee-led government in West Bengal, union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday batted for the Congress-Trinamool Congress ally.

“After 34 years of non-governance by the Left, Mamata’s government faces a freighting level of people’s expectations. We must give her a long rope,” Ramesh told HT, making it clear that development initiatives of the state will be strongly supported by the Centre.

Indicating the eagerness of the Congress’s central leadership to placate the Trinamool Congress, Ramesh will again tour West Bengal’s Jangalmahal area on January 24.

Ramesh’s decision—supported by the UPA brass—comes amid souring ties between the state Congress and Trinamool over renaming Indira Bhawan in Kolkata and failure to procure paddy from farmers.

Ramesh, the Congress’s chief interlocutor with its maverick ally, however maintains: “We may be having a turbulent relationship with Mamata. But for me, West Bengal remains a priority state. I have a good working relationship with her and I wish to maintain that.”

The minister is also likely to wrap up his tour with a meeting with Banerjee in Kolkata, seen as yet another signal that the UPA brass is trying to keep communication channels open with the Trinamool chief.

Ramesh will tour Bankura and Purulia, after the two districts got included in the Integrated Action Plan (IAP) scheme of the Centre, whereby they will get additional resource of R30 crore per year. Last year, he had visited West Midnapore.

“We are committed to help Bengal in its progress. I am particularly keen on the expansion of Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY). An additional 1000 km of roads under PMGSY will be given to Bengal. I’m waiting for the proposals,” Ramesh told HT.