Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh, who was on a visit to the state capital on Saturday, aired his views on special status for Jharkhand. On this occasion, he also played down the loss of LJP in Bihar. The head of state coordination committee, Ramesh said the Congress has grown powerful as an organisation than earlier and there was no need to sway to individual choices.
Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh. HT Photo/Raajessh Kashyap
What is your take on the special status for Jharkhand? Do you think it is a genuine demand?
Every state that has low per capita income should get the special status tag for at least 10 years. Jharkhand also falls in this category. However, its condition is slightly different from other states, as there is no lack of revenue base due to availability of minerals.
Has the seat sharing (10+4) between the Congress and JMM been finalised for the upcoming general election? Will the alliance continue even for the Assembly polls?
The Lok Sabha seat sharing has been finalised between the Congress and the JMM. It may change if the RJD also joins the alliance. A RS seat going RJD’s way too would be taken into reckoning while finalising the pact. However, the alliance with JMM would continue after the Lok Sabha poll.
Will Congress legislator Chandrasekhar Dubey get an LS ticket for Dhanbad seat after his ouster from Hemant’s cabinet?
Dhanbad is a prestigious seat and there are too many stalwarts. The decision would be taken judiciously.
Congress lost an ally in LJP in Bihar. Do you think more such allies will part ways with the Congress as the general election is approaching?
LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan showed his true colours after joining hands with the BJP. I had personally talked to Paswan only a week ago and he was positive about sharing a pact.
Rahul Gandhi wants to make the Congress corruption-free but you are allying with Lalu Yadav-led RJD in Bihar?
Every Congress worker in Bihar wants an alliance with RJD. Rahul Gandhi is also right, but the organisation’s voice needs to be heard.