Shimla: The BJP appears to be in a vindictive mood in Himachal Pradesh. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has a reason to target former CM Virbhadra Singh after the Supreme Court in a recent judgement declared that Singh had “illegally” granted permit to a transporter for plying vehicles on a restricted route in 2004.” The apex court has slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on the government. In a reply to Dhumal’s statement of fixing responsibility for misuse of power, former Irrigation and Public Health minister Kaul Singh said that the fine would be “paid by the government”. Dhumal countered by saying that as the “the decision for giving permit was taken while sitting at home” the person concerned would have to bear the cost of the fine.
Dhumal also said that action would be taken against people, who had notified a medical college in Mandi, when the Model Code of Conduct was under rule. The Congress government had to withdraw the announcement after the Election Commission made the declaration illegal under the Election Model of Conduct provisions.
The CM also pointed out discrepancies in the figures (Rs 30,000 crore) claimed by the previous government in industrial investments. The actual investment, according to him was only Rs 3,374, a mere 11 per cent of the amount claimed.
Later, clarifying the Congress government’s and countering Dhumal’s charges, Congress Legislature Party leader, Vidya Stokes, told the press that “projects worth Rs 27,000 crore were cleared through the single window clearance, of which projects worth Rs 5,600 crore were established.”
Meanwhile, Dhumal, also assured the house that the government was in touch with the central government to open up an IIT in the state and start the Chandigarh-Baddi rail link at the earliest. Similarly, the change in route of Chandigarh-Baddi rail line that is now being proposed via Nalagarh and Nangal will also be pushed for the original plan at the centre.