The Union government’s Rs.7,277-crore package for the backward Bundelkhand region comprising Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh has triggered a political war between the Congress and other parties in Uttar Pradesh.
The Bahujan Samaj Party has described the package as insufficient and a delayed decision which is unlikely to benefit the poor and the deprived in the drought-hit region. It has reiterated Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s demand for a special package of Rs.80,000 crore for integrated development of Bundelkhand.
The BSP supremo sought the special package when she met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in July 2007.
A BSP spokesman claimed on Friday that despite the resource crunch the Mayawati government had launched several welfare schemes for Bundelkhand.
The Samajwadi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party too dismissed the development package. While the SP alleged that the funds would not be put to judicious use, the BJP termed the move “eyewash”.
But Congressmen backed general secretary Rahul Gandhi, who was hailed as the moving force behind the Centre’s nod for the package.
Leader of Congress Legislature Party in Uttar Pradesh Pramod Tiwari told journalists here on Friday that the package was a welcome step; its emphasis on improving potable water and irrigation facilities would help mitigate the suffering of the people. Instead of criticising the Centre’s decision, the BSP government should give a matching grant for the development of the region, he said.
Bundelkhand has been in focus since the rains failed in the region for four years, leading to an unprecedented drought situation which, in turn, triggered migration.