Our PM is a pathological liar: Jairam Ramesh on Modi’s claims on project cheetah

Modi, while releasing cheetahs in Kuno National Park on Saturday, had claimed that previous governments made no effort to reintroduce cheetahs in India after they became extinct in 1952

Photo: Twitter/@Rajababu2345
Photo: Twitter/@Rajababu2345

NH Web Desk

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday hit back at PM Modi and shared on social media an official communique from 2009 that showed that the process of reintroducing cheetah in India had been initiated in that year, when Ramesh was the Union minister for environment and forests.

The Congress leader called Modi a “pathological liar" for criticising previous governments for allegedly not making any efforts to reintroduce the big cat in India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Saturday criticised the previous governments for allegedly making no constructive efforts to reintroduce cheetahs in India after they became extinct from the country seven decades ago.

Modi had made the remarks after releasing three of the eight cheetahs flown in from Namibia into special enclosures in the Kuno National Park (KNP) in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh.

"This was the letter that launched Project Cheetah in 2009. Our PM is a pathological liar. I couldn't lay my hands on this letter yesterday because of my preoccupation with the Bharat Jodo Yatra," Ramesh tweeted.

Along with the tweet he shared the letter that he, as then environment minister, had written to M.K. Ranjitsinh of the Wildlife Trust of India in 2009.

In the letter, Ramesh had asked Ranjitsinh to prepare a roadmap for the reintroduction of the Cheetah and include a detailed analysis of different potential sites.

In his remarks on Saturday, Modi said, "It is unfortunate that we declared cheetahs extinct in 1952, but for decades no constructive efforts were made to reintroduce them in India. Now, with new strength and vigour, the country has embarked on the project of reviving the population of cheetahs during this 'amrit kaal'."

The Congress had called Prime Minister Modi's release of cheetahs in KNP a "tamasha", orchestrated by him as another diversion from pressing national issues and the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

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