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Updated: December 9, 2012 01:57 IST

Project Congress as alternative to Trinamool: Jairam Ramesh

Staff Reporter
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AGRA, 11/10/2012: Union MInister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh with Ila Bhatt at the Jan Satyagraha rally at Agra. Photo: V.V.Krishnan.
V_V_Krishnan
AGRA, 11/10/2012: Union MInister for Rural Development Jairam Ramesh with Ila Bhatt at the Jan Satyagraha rally at Agra. Photo: V.V.Krishnan.

Jairam says there has been a revival of party after snapping ties with Trinamool

Stating that there has been a revival of the Congress in West Bengal after the alliance with Trinamool Congress came apart, Union Minister for Urban Development Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday that Congress workers should project the party as an alternative before the people in the upcoming panchayat elections.

“Tell the people that they have seen what the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has done, they are aware of the work done by the Trinamool Congress and now they should give chance to the Congress,” Mr. Ramesh said while addressing a gathering at Lalgarh in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region.

Pointing out that despite political change in the State , there has been no development, Mr. Ramesh said: “If there is no development then change will again come to West Bengal....In 2016 Assembly elections there will be change in favour of the Congress.”

In an oblique reference to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her style of functioning, he said that while vim was required to organise protests and lead movements, running of a government requires some knowledge of ground realities.

“There are so many people who launch their political career with the Congress and then after taking advantage of the party they leave it. But that matters little for Congress,” Mr. Ramesh, said. Congress was like river Ganga, and there were several streams that emerge from it, he added.

On Trinamool’s criticism that the UPA government is a minority, the Congress leader said the Manmohan Singh-led government had begun work on 13,000 km road under PMGSY that had been not done in past 12 years.

On implementation of the Central schemes in the State, Mr. Ramesh said this year, the Centre has allocated Rs. 2,700 crore for implementation of MGNREGA scheme and had commenced work on 5,500 km roads under the PMGSY scheme in the State.

Referring to the schemes on providing employment to rural women (called Anandadhara in West Bengal) Mr. Ramesh said that certain Central schemes are being projected as the schemes of the State government.

“There will be no paucity of funds for schemes in West Bengal,” Mr Ramesh assured, saying that UPA government is sensitive to development of rural Bengal.

Mr. Ramesh said the Centre had decided to transfer money for the majority of Central schemes to the bank accounts of beneficiaries, thereby reducing the chances of siphoning of funds.

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