Thiruvananthapuram: Refuting reports that Kerala`s poverty eradication programme-Kudumbashree would be diluted due to political reasons, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Monday said the Centre was totally committed to strengthening the mission which had proved highly successful.
"We are committed to strengthening, deepening and expanding Kudumbashree", Ramesh said when asked about reports that the UDF Government in Kerala was making moves to set up a new agency to replace Kudumbashree, apparently to insulate the poverty eradication and women empowerment mission from the "stranglehold" of the CPI(M).
"Let me say categorically that there should not be any doubt in anybody`s mind to the UDF`s commitment to Kudumbashree," he told reporters dismissing reports that the UDF government in the state had such intentions.
CPI(M) in Kerala had recently run a campaign accusing the Oommen Chandy Government of trying to destroy Kudumbashree by extending support to the pro-Congress Janashree Mission.
Stating that he did not see it as a CPI(M) versus Congress issue, Ramesh said, Kudumbashree would continue to be the nodal agency of the National Rural Livelihood Mission in the state.
He said the Centre had provided Rs 45 crore for Kudumbashree in 2012-13 and it would be enhanced to Rs 75 crore this year and it had not given a "single rupee" to Janashree.
It was "hypocritical" on the part of the LDF to have launched a "save Kudumbashree" stir after it had done little to strengthen the mission when it was in power.
On reports of the state`s move to form a new agency for poverty eradication programmes, he said this was only one of several options and "we (Centre) have not accepted it."
On the allegation of CPI-M`s infiltration into Kudumbashree, he said, "Kudumbashree should not be an organisation to park party people."