West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee strongly retorted as 'distasteful' the taunt by Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh while releasing the fourth installment of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act funds to her state that 'this reflects how sensitive the so-called 'brain-dead government in Delhi' is to the needs of the people of West Bengal'.
Putting his October 19 letter on Facebook, she hit back, saying, "Releasing funds for the Central schemes is not a matter of charity. This is a pure governmental activity."
She said, "The statement is clearly vindictive, unethical and unconstitutional. I am really stunned to see that a Union minister can write a distasteful statement like this to a state government."
Asserting that it creates a bad precedent and adds stigma to healthy democratic fibre of the country, she wrote, "I would like to have a public opinion on this statement."
Jairam had only tried to react to her oft-repeated charge on the Centre that it is not sensitive to the needs of the people of West Bengal, not realising the reaction in store for him from the mercurial lady.
On her Facebook account, she told a large number of her fans, "You would be shocked to see the attitude of the Central government towards West Bengal."
"In a federal structure, the Central and the State governments perform their roles as per the Constitution in public interest. Good and effective governance deserves a clear delineation of governmental activity and political activity.
"Under Central government schemes such as MGNREGA, the government funds are released to all the states for implementation of the scheme. Releasing funds for the Central schemes is not a matter of charity," Mamata asserted.