Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, opposing the initiation of the Central government to set up a separate Bundelkhand Development Authority.
Earlier, Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had demanded the creation of such an authority for the development of Bundelkhand, which spreads across parts of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh and is an extremely backward region.
Bundelkhand comprises Datia, Tikamgarh, Chhatarpur, Panna, Damoh and Sagar districts of Madhya Pradesh and Jhansi, Lalitpur, Mahoba, Banda and Fatehpur districts of Uttar Pradesh.
In the letter to Singh, Chouhan demanded that the Central government should provide financial assistance for the development of that region and should not interfere in state affairs. Chouhan also demanded the release of a special package for the development of the region.
Setting up of a separate development authority is against the federal structure of the country and the state government had constituted a Bundelkhand Development Authority in May 2007 keeping in view the special requirements of the region, Chouhan elaborated in his letter.
Reminding Dr Singh of his request for a special package, Chouhan pointed out that the Union government did not sanction any special assistance, in spite of the 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 to Madhya Pradesh," Chouhan stated in his letter.