Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh was all praise for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today for showing "political courage" in transforming Jungle Mahal, a former Naxal hotbed in the state.
In comments that came notwithstanding Trinamool Congress' parting of ways with Congress in September, Ramesh also said no one should take away the credit due to Mamata, saying her approach to tackle the Naxal problem was "right".
The praise by Ramesh came days after he took a jibe at the Trinamool supremo for her "brain-dead" comment on the UPA government, prompting the feisty leader to hit back at him for using "vindictive, unethical and unconstitutional" language in an official letter addressed to her.
"She may not be our ally now but I must say that she had transformed the scenario in Jungle Mahal. She had shown the political courage required for the changes in the Naxal-affected areas," the Union Minister said after meeting West Bengal Rural Development Minister Subrato Mukherjee here.
Jungle Mahal area, consisting of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia districts, was the worst Naxal-affected zone in West Bengal during CPI(M) rule.
"The kind of political mobilisation that happened in Jungle Mahal during the last two years is worth mentioning and one should not take away the credit due to her", he said and added Mamata's "approach is the right approach (for tackling Naxal problem).
Mamata-led Trinamool Congress had withdrawn support to UPA over the reforms measures, including FDI in retal, intiated by the Centre.
Ramesh said Congress is also organising a rally in Jungle Mahal this month to mobilise public support for the party.
He also lauded West Bengal government's role in speedy execution of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act(MNREGA) scheme.
Mamata last month took serious umbrage to Ramesh writing to her that the 'brain dead government in Delhi' was sensitive to the needs of people of the state.
Ramesh's jibe at the the Chief Minister came after she had compared the UPA to a patient on his death bed. "It is now brain-dead and on ventilator...," she had said.