Cong swept PRI polls fought on party symbol: Stokes



Shimla (Mar 3): Leader of Opposition and Congress Legislature Party leader Vidya Stokes today lashed the state government for intimidating victorious candidates in the recent concluded elections of Panchayati Raj institutions that were not held on party symbol. However, she said the Congress swept civic bodies elections for which were held on party symbol.

Taking part in a debate that began in the state assembly on the Governor’s address, Stokes said “no section in the state is taking respite from incumbent regime of state”. She said the government was mum over a recent report presented in the state high court by the Shukla committee which highlighted glaring violations of environment norms and degradation of forest wealth in the state.

Drawing the attention of the House toward the official gallery, Stokes said that it was pathetic that gallery was vacant when such important debate was going on in the assembly. She said the Theog-Kotkhai-Jubbal-Rohru road was in shambles and during emergency patients lost their lives on the way as their vehicles were struck for long hours cross the dilapidated roads. On the health sector, she said shortage of staff in the rural areas was forcing people to migrate to towns for want of proper health facilities.

Opposing mushrooming of private universities in the state, Stokes said 18 universities were functioning for the population of 70 lakh people. She charged that due to opening of unnecessary health institutions in the state private institutions were charging exorbitant fees from innocent people.

Intervening in the debate, health minister Rajiv Bindal clarified that after inception of Atal Swasthay Ambulance scheme, institutional delivery, which was 37 per cent in the state, has now improved to 87 per cent. Earlier, senior BJP member (Sundernagar) Roop Singh presented the Motion of Thanks, which was supported by Vipan Singh Parmar (BJP-Sulha).

BJP president Khimi Ram (Bhuntar), Congress Kulddep Singh Pathainai (Bhatiyat) and Tajewant Negi also spoke on the motion. The debate on the motion would continue tomorrow.

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