Ex-UPA min downplays defection in Congress

Renuka cautions against rumours about China’s Brahmaputra dam

Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment & Forests, Renuka Chowdhury, addresses media persons
in the city on Monday. (ST)

SHILLONG: Former UPA minister Renuka Chowdhury said on Monday the Congress central leadership “is strong enough” to endure the onslaught of defectors and rebels.
Chowdhury’s comment comes at a time when the Congress in the State is reeling from defection to the BJP and a leadership crisis where several party members are questioning AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s efficiency.
Commenting on the ongoing crisis here, the Rajya Sabha MP from Andhra Pradesh said, “People want to change (party) after enjoying all the benefits and the easiest thing to do is to attack the leadership to justify their betrayal. If there was a problem they should have approached the party.”
The Congress has seen many leaders leaving the party after the BJP came to power at the Centre. It all started with Chaudhary Birender Singh from Haryana and continued with Assam’s Himanta Biswa Sarma and recently Rita Bahuguna Joshi leaving the Congress for the saffron party in UP.
On using technology to map China’s dam building on the Brahmaputra, Chowdhury, who is also the Chairperson of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forests, said, “At this point the situation is hypothetical. It is a sensitive issue and the government will take a call if such things happen. A lot of speculations are made and since it has not happened, we should exercise caution to see that we don’t promote rumour mongering. If they (China) do so, they will have the answers.”
The former Union minister also interacted with the staff at North Eastern Space Applications Centre (NESAC). Refusing to divulge details of the discussions at the Committee level, she said, “We cannot discuss much information about what the committee is doing till we present the report to Parliament.”
When asked about the frequent floods in the North East, Chowdhury said, “Internationally people are working on it. But nature is mightier than man in many ways.”
With India being a predominantly agricultural country, Chowdhury said a lot of data is generated by institutes to focus more on agriculture and climate change impact on the well-being and flora and fauna of the country.