NEW DELHI, February 23, 2012
Jairam terms Mayawati 'former' Chief Minister
His criticism may indicate the unlikelihood of a post-poll alliance
Carrying on with the Congress offensive against Uttar Pradesh Chief
Minister Mayawati, Union Minister of Rural Development Jairam Ramesh
dubbed her "former Chief Minister" even as three phases of election to
the Assembly remains to be conducted.
Mr. Ramesh shot down a reporter's question on Ms. Mayawati's
objections to the manner in which MGNREGS was being conducted by
saying that "she is now former Chief Minister."
He was interacting with mediapersons while releasing a Planning
Commission report on reforming the MGNREGS.
Asked who the next incumbent would be, he said there was no dearth of
candidates and there were several aspirants in the Congress for the
top job in Uttar Pradesh — obviously assuming that his party would
secure the majority notwithstanding the fact that the party had won
just 20 seats in the last Assembly polls in a House of 403.
Mr. Ramesh happens to be the first Union Minister to launch an
offensive against the Bahujan Samaj Party chief by raising the issue
of corruption in the implementation of MGNREGS and proposing a CBI
enquiry into the alleged embezzlement of funds.
Ms. Mayawati had objected to it in her letter to Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh and accused Mr. Ramesh of indulging in politics.
Mr. Ramesh has been instrumental in drafting the party's vision
document for the State, besides the manifesto. His offensive may well
be indicative of the stiff relations between the two parties and the
unlikelihood of a post-poll alliance in forming the next government in
case of a hung House.
He, however, refused to speak on West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata
Banerjee's visit to the national capital to hold discussions with the
Prime Minister, saying that both the Prime Minister and Congress
president Sonia Gandhi would resolve the issues.
He maintained that there were no problems with Ms. Banerjee regarding
proposals relating to his ministries.
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