Taking the UPA vs Modi government battle to the next level, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) minister Srikant Jena has decided to go on an official visit to Gujarat to review centrally sponsored programmes.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had snubbed him recently by turning down a request to visit the state to review the 20-point programme and centrally-sponsored schemes. As a result, Jena had to put off his visit.
The official reason cited by the Gujarat Government for the refusal was that the Central Government had sought information for the proposed meeting in a format in which Gujarat no longer collects or stores data. But now the Union Minister, prodded by the Congress, has decided to go ahead.
“Our minister will be going to Gujarat shortly and the state government there will be duty bound to host the minister,’’ said an official with the MoSPI. According to the official, the date of the visit will be decided soon.
“The state government is of the view that the UPA government is trying all possible ways to malign the state government, but it need not be the case,” said an official with the MoSPI.
The GoM Media, comprising P Chidambaram, Ambika soni and Salman Khurshid, had visited the Gujarat recently as part of the Congress strategy to take on Modi before the Assembly poll.