In a 3-page letter to former Finance Minister Yashwant Sinha, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh categorically denied the charge levelled by Sinha after a BJP chief ministers' conclave in Delhi on Saturday. Jairam dubbed accusations relating to Prime Minister's Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) as "blatant falsehood."
Sinha had earlier charged Jairam of discriminating against states that were ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Refuting the charges, Jairam said a final set of new connectivity proposals worth Rs 346 crore (Rs 3.46 billion) to Gujarat is "about to get sanctioned."
He said while proposal to upgrade 3,484 km of rural roads in Gujarat has already been cleared, he has written to Chief Minister Narendra Modi to send proposals for the balance 1,965 km to be upgraded in the state.
Jairam said the BJP chief ministers with whom he has been in regular contact will also vouch that no partiality is shown while sanctioning funds under the programme.
"Over the last year, I have worked very hard to untangle the impasse on PMGSY in Bihar and Jharkhand, states where BJP is in coalition. I am pleased to tell you that in both the states the programme has now resumed functioning fully,"
Jairam wrote, pointing out that projects worth Rs 3,387 crore (Rs 33.87 billion and Rs 1,107 crore (Rs 11.07 billion) respectively have been sanctioned and more sanctions are likely as the year progresses.
He went on to point out that two other BJP-ruled states -- Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh -- were sanctioned Rs 1,677 crore (Rs 16.77 billion) and Rs 724 crore (Rs 7.24 billion) respectively, adding that another Rs 1,265 crore (Rs 12.65 billion) are about to be sanctioned to Madhya Pradesh.
He, however, admitted that his ministry has stopped sanctioning fresh upgradation programmes until a huge backlog of new connectivity left in states like Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, most of whom happen to be BJP-ruled states, picks up.