Madhya Pradesh opposes setting up of central body for Bundelkhand


Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh opposing the setting up of a separate Bundelkhand Development Authority by the central government, an official said Saturday. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has demanded such an authority be set up to spur development in the backward region that straddles Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

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In the letter to the prime minister late Friday, Chouhan said the central government should provide financial assistance and not interfere in state affairs.

He said a special package for development of the region should be provided. The state government has been demanding the package for some years now.

Chouhan in his letter said setting up of a separate development authority is against the federal structure of the country. He said the state government constituted a Bundelkhand Development Authority in May 2007, keeping in view the special requirements of the region.

“In such a case, the constitution of another authority for Bundelkhand region by central government would be merely duplication and it will entail unnecessary expenditure,” Chouhan said.

Reminding the prime minister of his request for a special package, Chouhan said the union government did not sanction any special assistance despite recommendations of the Central Study Team that visited Bundelkhand a few months ago.

“In the presentation prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, the Samra Committee has recommended a special assistance of about Rs.4,000 crore (Rs.40 billion) to Madhya Pradesh,” he said.

Bundelkhand comprises Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Damoh and Sagar districts of Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Banda and Fatehpur districts of Uttar Pradesh.