Bundelkhand has found special mention in Budget 2010.
The backward region, brought to the forefront of national politics by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, was allocated financial assistance of Rs 1,200 crore.
Bundelkhand, across 13 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, has been facing deficient rainfall since 2004-05.
Gandhi’s efforts had earlier pushed the government to announce a special package of Rs 7,266 crore in November 2009 for implementation of drought mitigation strategy and integrated development.
“It is due to Rahulji’s efforts. This also shows the seriousness of the UPA government in Bundelkhand’s development,” Minister of State for Rural Development and Jhansi MP Pradeep Jain Aditya told HT.
But, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) is attaching a political motive to the announcement.
“Why did they single out Bundelkhand? There are other backward areas in UP too. This is purely political,” said BSP’s parliamentary party leader Dara Singh Chauhan.
Gandhi has blamed both the BSP government in Uttar Pradesh and the BJP regime in Madhya Pradesh for the under-development of Bundelkhand, a region politically crucial for the Congress in its efforts to regain lost ground in these two states. The party has virtually no presence in the region that has 38 seats in UP assembly and 26 in MP’s lower house.
His visit to the region in April last year and subsequent representation with signatures of MPs, legislators and leaders from both states to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July had set the wheels moving.