Union Minister Kalraj Mishra today dismissed the repeated accusations of Uttar Pradesh government of non-cooperation by the BJP-led central government.
“The state assembly elections are forthcoming and if they won’t criticse the Centre, then how shall they do (politics),” Mishra told reporters on a question regarding the state accusing the Centre of non-assistance.
The Union Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises minister was here to address a conference on Prime Minister Employment Guarantee Programme.
Stating that the current central government has released more funds for UP than any other regime, he said, “When they are unable to utilise the funds given earlier, then how can the Centre be blamed for that?”
Asked whether he was ready to be the face of BJP in 2017 UP assembly elections, Mishra, MP from Deoria district, said there were several faces in the party, who could be the chief minister.
“Our preparations for the UP polls are good,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Mishra said it was for the first time in the country that the government has conducted industrial profile and skill mapping to ascertain where MSME industries could be set up.
Skill training was being provided to youths so that they as well the industry could know about each others requirement, he said, adding that the priority was being given to UP and requested the state government to extend required cooperation.
He said his ministry was making efforts to promote two major schemes ASPIRE and Prime Minister Employment Generation Programme.
Under PMEGP, he said, 30,708 units have been set up between 2008-2014 under which 3.1 lakh unemployed got job opportunities and added that in the last six years the Centre has given a grant of Rs 986 crores to UP under the programme.
Mishra said in financial year 2015-2016 the Centre has given a grant of Rs 120 crore to the state for setting up 5978 units to provide employment to 47,824 people.
However, he said that the UP government could spend only Rs 92.84 crore of the total grant, which he said was “a slow progress”.
On being asked about the 17 central ministers visit in January to 23 Lok Sabha constituencies of UP, he said the Prime Minister in consultation with other leaders have decided that all central ministers would visit the country.
“I myself had been to Coimbatore and now I will be visiting Shillong,” he added.