While Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati on Friday attacked Union minister Jairam Ramesh for his having alleged irregularities in the execution of the rural jobs scheme in her state, Ramesh refuted the charge of writing a "politically motivated" letter.
"My letter to UP CM is not politically motivated. It is based on the report of the national and state level monitors on irregularities in the implementation of MGNREGS (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) in seven districts of the state," Ramesh told a news channel.
In his letter Ramesh had on Monday asked the chief minister: "Why a CBI probe should not be ordered into the implementation of the MGNREGS in the state which receives around Rs5,000 crore annually under the scheme."
"Asking for a CBI probe into these irregularities is not politics," the rural development minister added.
His statement came after Mayawati on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying: "It only highlights his (Ramesh) lack of understanding of fiscal federalism inherent in our constitution."
"Jairam's letter is politically motivated," state cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said in Lucknow releasing to the press copies of Mayawati's letter.
"It was strange that the union minister chose to draw his conclusions on the basis of feedback limited to just seven districts in a state which has as many as 75 districts," he added.
The Congress party also attacked Mayawati.
"It is a sad state of affairs that MGNREGS funds were used for buying toys, tents and calendars," said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi in Delhi.
"The UP CM has overlooked development. She supports wrong decisions and boosts administrative corruption. In no other state, the bureaucracy is so demoralized as in UP," he said.