Saturday, May 30, 2009

Jain’s inclusion in ministry shows focus on Bundelkhand

By Maulshree-Seth

First-time MP Pradeep Jain has been inducted into the central ministry as he is the only Congress MP elected from the drought-prone Bundelkhand region. And the choice is a clear indication of the importance accorded to the area, feels party insiders in the state.

Jain (47), a down-to-earth man, is the kind of young people AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi believes will help rebuild the Congress in UP in time for the next assembly elections — due in 2012.

One of the most backward regions, Bundelkhand has been neglected by successive governments. Poor agriculture, lack of irrigation and drinking water, unemployment, and migration to cities for jobs are some of the perennial problems.

As the Minister of State for Rural Development, Jain should be equipped to take care of the development needs of the region.

Last year, Rahul had visited Bundelkhand and organised protests on local issues. Jain, an MLA from Jhansi, had caught his eye at the time. When the Lok Sabha elections were announced, Rahul ensured that Jain got the party ticket. He also made it a point to address a public meeting in Jhansi.

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