Rahul Gandhi is the emerging force to settle the disputes between state leaders and the Union Ministers on several key issues. He has forced an adamant Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh to relax his stand on Kerala’s pleas to revise certain norms of a few centrally- sponsored schemes and facilitate their fruitful implementation.
Rahul’s intervention followed a letter forwarded by the state Rural Development Minister K C Joseph to Sonia Gandhi in her capacity as chairperson of the National Advisory Council a couple of days ago.
The letter criticised Jairam Ramesh and asserted that he is now being guided by bureaucrats who were known to be in the good books of the CPM while they were working in Kerala.
“The state is pleading for the inclusion of small dairy sector and the traditional sectors of coir and khadi in the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS),” K C Joseph told Express.
However, the plea didn’t curry favour with the Union Minister. “He views even dairying activity with two-three cows as a primary means of individual profit- making in place of livelihood,” Joseph pointed out.
“Moreover, the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) scheme has completed only seven phases in Kerala owing to the attendant norms unacceptable for bidders, against 13-14 in other states. The state has requested sanction for two more phases, ” the minister said. “To all the appeals, the approach of Jairam Ramesh was quite unfavourable,” he added.
“At the same time, the minister is displaying a pro-left leaning going by the fascination for ‘Kudumbasree.’ Attempts to convert it into a tool for CPM to make inroads into the grassroots sector cannot be approved,” Joseph maintained. “The unseen factor has been brought to the attention of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul,” he said.