Bhubaneswar: Faced with resentment in
Congress for publicly describing Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik as a `friend`, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam
Ramesh on Sunday claimed that the state was not discriminated
against by the Centre on political consideration.
"It is completely wrong to say that Orissa is
discriminated against on political consideration," Ramesh told
reporters here while winding up his two-day visit to the
To a question on Patnaik`s recent statement that the
Congress-led UPA government was discriminating the state on
political consideration, Ramesh said "anybody who talks about
discrimination on political ground is completely wrong."
Ramesh, who had a tough time facing partymen at the
Congress Bhavan here for publicly describing Patnaik as his
friend, quipped "a union minister has three legs, one -
personal, second - political and the third - centre-state
"Though Patnaik is a friend, he (Naveen) is a political
adversary of Congress," Ramesh clarified to partymen,
including former minister Suresh Routray who openly resented
the union minister`s remark prior to the begin of his tour.
"The Centre gives funds and the states are supposed to
implement different welfare schemes," he said, adding, as
union minister he needs to maintain the working relationship
with Orissa for the better implementation of schemes.