Maya-Ramesh spat gets messier, reaches PM
The spat between Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati and Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh over the bungling of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds continued on Friday.Updated: Oct 29, 2011 01:33 IST
The spat between Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati and Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh over the bungling of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) funds continued on Friday.
Mayawati wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accusing Ramesh of having a “pre-conceived agenda” against her government. She also called the charges “frivolous and baseless” and “politically motivated”.
Ramesh had dared Mayawati to order a CBI probe into the MGNREGA irregularities in seven districts of UP. Mayawati instead directed the economic offences wing of UP police to probe into irregularities in MGNREGA funds in four districts — Balrampur, Gonda, Mirzapur and Mahoba.
In New Delhi, Ramesh claimed there was “no politics” involved. He said: “My letter (sent on Monday) is based on reports of the national level monitors and state quality monitor, who found embezzlement of funds.”
Mayawati said, “The minister, through his letter, attempted to score political points by alleging misuse of funds by the UP government. The letter was released to the media much before it was received here, confirming his intentions."
Meanwhile in Lucknow, state cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said reading out from Mayawati’s letter to the PM: “It is 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 75 districts.”
On withholding release of funds under MGNREGA, Mayawati said funds released by Centre were not a largesse but form a part of the revenue sharing mechanism.
"It would be appropriate, if the minister is apprised of the Centre-state fiscal arrangements provided in our Constitution. It is obvious that Ramesh has arrived at the conclusions without taking any cognisance of the steps taken by the state government," she said.
First Published: Oct 29, 2011 00:31 IST