Allahabad: Refuting Mayawati government`s
charge that the Centre has been discriminating against Uttar
Pradesh, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday pointed
out that the fund allocation for the state has been steadily
rising over the years but it was not yielding benefits for
want of political will.
The senior Congress leader, who was here to canvass for
the party on the last day of campaigning for the third phase
of assembly elections in UP, hailed Rahul Gandhi`s efforts
"aimed at creating a political atmosphere free from casteism,
communalism and all other narrow concerns".
He expressed the hope that the state will "return to the
mainstream of national politics" by "voting to power a party
which has a long history, a long tradition and a programme
that encompasses all sections of the society".
"Let me respond to the state government`s allegations
with facts and figures. The central allocation to UP by the
Twelfth Finance Commission, which was effective 2005-2010,
stood at Rs 1.32 lakh crore.
This went up by nearly three times in the Thirteenth
Finance Commission, effective from 2010-2015, and reached Rs
3.21 lakh crore, Mukherjee told a press conference here.
"Add to this the fact that there are various schemes like
MNREGA, NRHM, Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan etc.for which either the
entire money or a major share is provided by the Centre", he
"If the state government still has complaints, one can
only say that we can only take a thirsty horse close to water
but we cannot make it drink the water, the Finance Minister said.
Mukherjee said "it is for too long that the state, which
is crucial for the country as it inhabits the highest number
of people and sends the highest number of elected
representatives to Parliament, has been ruled by regional
We have, in our vision document, presented our blue
print for the state. We have also put forward a comparative
study of the state of affairs in UP while Congress was in
power here and now when we have been out of power for close to
two decades, he said.
Rahul Gandhi had chosen UP as his field of activity
ever since he joined politics seven years ago. He has been
working towards creating a political atmosphere free from
casteism, communalism and other narrow concerns, he said.
We are confident that the people of UP will respond to
Gandhi’s leadership just as they did in the 2009 Lok Sabha
elections when Congress won 22 out of 80 seats in the state.
"By doing so, the people will be voting to power a party
that has a long history, a long tradition and a programme that
encompasses all sections of the society?, he added.
Most importantly, by voting Congress back to power, the
people of UP will help their state to return back to the
mainstream of national politics, Mukherjee said.
Earlier, the Finance Minister, who was accompanied by
Union Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajeev
Shukla, addressed a meeting of office-goers in front of the
gate of the AG office here.
After the meeting, Mukherjee was presented with a
memorandum on behalf of the union of AG office employees who
listed their demands with regard to their pay structure and
Mukherjee told the meeting that UP had been suffering
not because of shortage of funds but owing to lack of will
and a programme driven by a genuine concern for the people.
Addressing the meeting, Shukla said the state will be
witness to revival of its lost glory if it had the same party
in power here which was ruling the country as governance will
then become much more smooth and free from hiccups.