According to a Times Now report, former Congress Minister Jairam Ramesh had written a letter to the then Maharashtra Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan 5 years ago to secure the release of Mahesh Raut who was detained by the local police for his alleged links to Maoists. Mahesh Raut was arrested recently for his alleged role in the violence related to Bhima-Koregaon.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) June 11, 2018
In the letter Times Now claims to have accessed, Jairam Ramesh claims that after he “independently inquired” into the allegations against Raut through reliable sources, He had discovered that Raut was working successfully with the administration as a Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) and had generated significant goodwill among the local people. PMRDFs are tasked with reaching out to the poor and assist the district administration in addressing their grievances and concerns. They are also expected to create awareness among the poor about the various welfare schemes initiated by the government for their benefit.
Ramesh further writes, “As the Minister in charge of the PMRD Fellowship, I am concerned with the prolonged interrogation of the PMRDF without an FIR by the Police. This has resulted in adverse reports in the media about this incident, which is causing incalculable harm to the goodwill that the fellowship has generated.”
Asserting that Mahesh Raut should be allowed to return to work, the UPA Minister writes, “I definitely do not want to second-guess the local civil and police administration who function in very difficult conditions and circumstances. Even so, I seek your urgent personal intervention to clear the air and bring the issue to an end, so that the PMRDFs are able to work without fear. Mahesh Raut should be allowed to continue working in Gadricholi and the Collector may be directed to provide all necessary support.”
It is pertinent to mention that recently dozens of Naxals were eliminated during anti-Naxal operations at Gadchiroli where Raut was posted when Jairam Ramesh was trying to secure his release back in 2012. Gadchiroli has always been a hotbed of such activities. Times Now had also reported earlier on the links between the Maoists and Congress and had produced a letter between Maoists which claimed that Congress was willing to provide all legal and financial help for the agitations and Dalit mobilization in their bid to hurt the BJP. It was also reported that Mahesh Raut had close links to a UPA Minister.
Jairam Ramesh’s alleged letter to the then Maharashtra Chief Minister has generated a political storm. A former UPA Minister writing a letter to secure the release of a person with alleged links to Maoists certainly does not look good for the Congress party which is struggling for political relevance across the country.