Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Monday had a breakfast meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, along with eight other Chief Ministers, but skipped the conference of Chief Ministers on internal security.
Uttar Pradesh Finance and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Lalji Verma read out her address at the conference.
Dr. Singh had invited the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur for the breakfast meeting. The interaction lasted nearly two hours.
Ms. Mayawati, accompanied by State Advisory Council chief and Rajya Sabha member Satish Mishra, reportedly had a brief word with Dr. Singh separately.
While official sources said the breakfast meeting was about internal security, Uttar Pradesh officials claimed that the Chief Minister gave an account of the drought situation in the State and urged the Prime Minister to expedite the release of Rs.7,789 crore for relief. The State had received only 43.7 per cent rainfall this monsoon and could sow only 68 per cent this kharif, she said.
Ms. Mayawati sought an additional Rs. 2,000 crore for providing 10 hours of power supply in 58 drought-affected districts. The State government was buying power at the rate of Rs. 8 a unit. She demanded a Rs.3,866-crore package for Bundelkhand. She wanted the diesel subsidy for farmers raised from 50 per cent to 75 per cent, if not given in full, the sources said.