Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Congress’s Jairam Ramesh shows 2009 letter on Project Cheetah to claim launch credit

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Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday shared a 2009 letter claiming that it initiated Project Cheetah in India. He was responding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s criticism of previous governments for not reintroducing the big cats earlier.

Jairam Ramesh had gone to the Cheetah Outreach Centre in Africa to facilitate the ‘Project Cheetah’ in April 2010 (Photo: Twitter | @INCIndia)

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Sunday shared a letter which, he said, initiated Project Cheetah in 2009 and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being a “pathological liar”. While releasing cheetahs from Namibia into the Indian wildlife, PM Modi had criticised previous governments for not making constructive efforts to reintroduce cheetahs in India.

Responding to this, Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet, “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.”

Along with the tweet, he shared the letter he, as then environment and forests minister, had written to MK Ranjitsinh of the Wildlife Trust of India in 2009.

“Prepare a roadmap for the reintroduction of the cheetah and include a detailed analysis of different potential sites,” Ramesh had written in his letter to the then environment minister.

The prime minister had made the remarks after releasing cheetahs into special enclosures in the Kuno National Park (KNP) in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.

“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’,” PM Modi had said.

READ | Cheetahs back on Indian soil after 70 years, PM Modi calls it historic

READ | Congress takes credit for ‘Project Cheetah’, says party approved proposal in 2008-2009

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