(News) Congress, BSP clash in Lok Sabha over demand for package for Eastern UP

Congress and BSP today clashed in the Lok Sabha on a demand for special package for eastern Uttar Pradesh with the Centre putting the ball in the state's court by asking the Mayawati government to send a proposal. The demand for Bundelkhand-like package for Eastern UP, made through a private member's resolution moved by Ratna Singh (Congress), saw heated arguments between members belonging to the rival parties in Uttar Pradesh, forcing the Chair to repeatedly intervene to restore order. Replying to the discussion, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamy said the central government has provided UP with sufficient funds for development. He said the primary responsibility of development lay with the state government. "It is the duty of the Government of India to supplement the state government," he said.

As he cited figures on funds provided to UP under various schemes, Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) asked him against "trapping" members in the maze of figures and explain what the Centre could offer to Eastern UP, also called Poorvanchal. This led to a verbal duel between treasury benches and BSP members. Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD) was seen supporting the BSP members. Narayanasamy said Bundelkhand was given special package as the region is in the grip of drought. But, Poorvanchal was a fertile land and the state government should take initiative to use the manpower available there to increase agriculture output. He said while the region had the potential for agro-based industry, the initiative to create investment environment had to come from the state government.

Narayansamy said if the state government sent a proposal to the Centre for a special package, it would be considered. Ratna Singh later withdrew the resolution saying while the Centre was providing funds, it was not being sent to Eastern UP by the state government, drawing fresh protests from BSP members. Earlier, participating in the debate, Ram Kishun (SP) supported the demand for special economic package said it should focus on increasing infrastructure particularly for irrigation and potable water. Jagdambika Pal (Cong) said 27 districts in the Poorvanchal region are badly affected due to inadequate irrigation facilities.

Ghansyam Anuragi (SP) said government should give a package of Rs 30,000 crore for the Poorvanchal region. The demand was also supported by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, Vinay Kumar, Kamal Kishore and Sanjay Nirupam (all Cong). Gorakhnath Pandey and Vijay Bahadur Singh (both BSP) also participated in the discussion.

Courtesy: PTI