The Congress party on Saturday hit out at Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for opposing creation of an independent authority for economic development of the backward Bundelkhand region.
In a statement issued in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) media cell chief Vivek Singh flayed Mayawati for criticising the move, which he said was aimed at "ensuring integrated development of the region that covers a few districts both in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh".
"I fail to understand how a Dalit chief minister of the state can be opposed to any such move that was aimed at ensuring the economic upliftment of the poor and downtrodden living in that area," he said.
"The initiative was taken by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who took pains to traverse the length and breadth of the Bundelkhand region in the worst of summer to get a first hand account of the plight of the common people there -- something that Mayawati never cared to even find out."
Singh, a prominent legislator from Bundelkhand, said a development authority for the region would ensure proper utilization of funds "that were getting blatantly pilfered".
Accusing the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ministers from Bundelkhand of having amassed huge wealth for themselves at the expense of development of the region, Singh demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the personal assets of such ministers and their families.
"These ministers have thrived on funds released by the Centre for the economic development of Bundelkhand, for which they need to be punished," he stressed.