Jairam all praise for Mamata Banerjee



New Delhi: Praising West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's role in the development of Jungle Mahal, a former Maoist hotbed, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Thursday said she had shown the "political courage" for the work done there.

"She may not be our ally now but I must say that she had transformed the scenario in Jungle Mahal. She had shown the political courage required for the changes in the Naxal-affected areas," Ramesh said after meeting West Bengal Rural Development Minister Subrato Mukherjee here.

Jungle Mahal areas, consisting of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, was the worst Naxal-affected zone in West Bengal during CPI(M) rule.

"The kind of political mobilisation that happened in Jungle Mahal during the last two years is worth mentioning and one should not take away the credit due to her", he said and added Mamata's "approach is the right approach (for tackling Naxal problem).

Mamata-led Trinamool Congress had withdrawn support to UPA over the reforms measures, including FDI in retail, initiated by the Centre.

Ramesh said Congress is also organising a rally in the Jungle Mahal this month to mobilise public support for the party.

Ramesh also lauded Bengal government's role in speedy execution of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act scheme.

"The state has ascended to number three position from number 21 in NREGA. There were about 13,000km long road sanctioned under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) in 2012-13," Ramesh said.

The central fund under NREGA has also been doubled up for Bengal in current fiscal.

PTI