Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Murli Manohar Joshi said here on Saturday that politics should not come in the way of implementing the Bundelkhand package announced by the Centre.

If the Central and Uttar Pradesh governments were serious about the development of Bundelkhand, schemes should be formulated by both for the common benefit of the people of the region. A consensual approach by taking the views of the other parties was imperative and they should be involved in the process for formulating schemes, Dr. Joshi told a press conference.

Dr. Joshi said the success of the development package depended on the harmonious working of the Central and State governments on the subject. The Member of Parliament from Varanasi said generally politics overlapped the implementation of the welfare schemes.

Dr. Joshi, who is the chairman of the Finance Committee of the Lok Sabha, said the benefit of the welfare measures for the poor often did not percolate down to the beneficiaries.

On the issue of rising prices of foodgrains and essential commodities, the BJP leader demanded a comprehensive pricing policy as an antidote for the growing economic imbalance in the country. Dr. Joshi said serious thought would have to be given by the Central government on the causes for the decline in farm land and the decline in investment in the agriculture sector.

If the billionaires in the country had doubled, the number of people living below the poverty line had also increased, he said. Dr. Joshi warned that a decline in agricultural production would impact India’s sovereignty.

He said the fair and remunerative price (FRP) was not in the interest of the sugarcane farmers, and added that the farmers and consumers should not be made to suffer.

Dr. Joshi declined to comment on whether Kalyan Singh should be re-inducted into the BJP.

Regarding the affairs in the party’s U.P. unit, he said the party had suffered on account of losing contact with the people.