Chief Minister Shri Virbhadra Singh while addressing a massive public meeting at Gagret in Una district today came down heavily upon the state BJP leaders for airing rumours about ‘Mafia Raj’ in the State. He said it was disgusting on the part of BJP to misguide the people about Mafia Raj in their rallies, but the fact was that the BJP-SAD alliance in Punjab sheltered the drug mafia and paid the price in elections.
He said BJP leaders borrowed the word mafia from its counterparts from neighbouring state but this propaganda would not help them in coming Assembly elections. He said the Himachal police was always on alert to foil the entry of drug mafia in state. He said that even the BJP should help in curbing the menace if they knew well that who in their party was involved in the illicit trade.
The Chief Minister said that the BJP was handicapped and had no reason to raise objections on development and resort to cheap tactics which was uncalled for. The ‘Mafia’ terminology was being actually used by those who themselves were associated with it he said, adding that the BJP must be knowing better that from where the drugs business was being run, if any. He said that anyone found guilty in drug trade won't be spared at all and would be taught a lesson. Defaming the State on issue of drug menace was not right at all. This shows that the BJP never cared for the state and its citizens rather it was trying to defame the state world wide for their own self interests.
Blaming the state BJP, the Chief Minister said that infact, different type of Mafia was prevalent during the BJP regime and the one which became quite famous was the ‘Cricket Mafia’ which flourished under their regime. A hotel was constructed on the land shown as barren land in revenue papers where number of trees were axed down to pave the way for the five star hotel in Dharamshala.
He said there were few parties in the country whose main objective now days was to just contest elections but they don't look back at the people who made them the leaders. The politicians now a days resort to communal and regional divide when it comes to contest elections ignoring the interest of the state and the Nation as well. The entire purpose of elections revolve around ones own selfish motive, sidelining the interest of the Nation and its citizens.
He said few leaders who have become members of Lok Sabha, think that they were above all, but the true leader was the one who had worked in the field and for the welfare of the people. The state BJP leaders had lost their way, they believe in regional and caste politics, said the Chief Minister.
He said that Una was a granary of the State and was producing vegetables which had raised the economy of the people. However, the Swan river and channelization of its 73 tributaries had been an important issue for quite some time now. He said that it was decided that the state government and the Union government would have certain share for channelizing the Swan, adding that till the regime of UPA government, there was no problem of funds but since NDA came to power the Central share was not being received as per the agreement.
He said though Union Ministry had already earmarked the budget for this project, but efforts would be made to get it released at the earliest so that work on this ambitious project was completed well in time.
He blamed the Member of Parliament of the area for not initiating the matter with NDA government. He said that the state government would continue releasing its share for carrying out the work of Channelisation despite the fact that the Sate BJP leaders and MP Shri Anurag Thakur instigated the NDA to withhold the central share.
Earlier, the Chief Minister laid foundation stone of argumentation of Lift Water Supply Scheme, Amboa, Saloh Bedi, Marwadi, Dangoh Khurd at Marwadi to cost Rs.6.34 crore and benefitting estimated population of 8500 of six villages of the area. He also laid foundation stone of argumentation of Lift water supply scheme Thaplan, Pambra, Oel and Tatehra at Oel to cost Rs4.40 crore to benefit estimated population of 7000.
The Chief Minister also laid foundation of Science block of Government Senior Secondary School, Ghanari to cost Rs 1.78 crore.
Later in the evening, the Chief Minister laid foundation stone of improvement of Water Supply SchemeDharamshala Mahantan, Behar Bhater and Ghangret to cost Rs 2.50 crore to benefit population of 8300 of five villages of the area.
Irrigation and Public Health Minister, Smt. Vidya Stokes while addressing on the occasion said that the Chief Minister was considerate towards the demands of the poor and the underprivileged. A policy for outsource employees would soon be made, she said. The Minister said that a budgetary provision of Rs 2238 crore had been made for Irrigation and Public Health department in this fiscal, besides in the year 2017-18, as many as 160 drinking water supply schemes, 70 Irrigation schemes were in the offing on which a sum of Rs 160 crore would be spent.
Shri Rakesh Kalia, MLA from Gagret and Secretary AICC also highlighted the measures to be taken in this fiscal as announced by Chief Minister in his budget. He especially thanked the Chief Minister for enhancing MLA discretionary grant to Rs.1.10 crore.
He demanded opening of Sub-tehsil at Kaloh and a water supply scheme for Daulatpur Chowk and upgradation of Community Health Centre to Civil Hospital. He also raised demands for up-gradation of few schools and as many as 60 hand pumps in Gagret area besides Mini stadium at Ambota.
Shri Rakesh Kalia also lashed upon BJP for initiating cases and investigations against the Chief Minister and said that the modus-operandi of BJP had always remained to defame the Chief Minister.
Chairman State Finance Commission and MLA Shri Kuldeep Kumar, State Youth Congress President, Shri Vikramaditya Singh, District Congress President, Shri Virendar Dharmani, BCC President, Shri Balwant Parmar, Secretary, HPCC, Shri Rajiv Prashar, Member, Social Welfare Council, Ms Renu Kalia, BCC President (Women), Ms Urmila Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Shri Vikas Labroo, SP Shri Anupam Sharma were also present on the occasion amongst others.