Shimla: Union Steel Minister Virbhadra Singh has charged Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal for trivializing state’s claim to extend the industrial package till 2013.
Retorting to Dhumal’s recent charge on him that he is not serious on the matter, Union minister said in a press conference here today that Dhumal is trying to cover his own mistakes regarding his failure to convince the centre for extension of industrial package by wrongly holding him guilty for this. He also alleged that Dhumal is politicising the issue by making political statements against him and the centre, ‘‘however, the union government is sympathetic enough to help Himachal in this matter’’.
Coming forward in support of Union government for its indecisiveness over extension of industrial package, Singh said that there is counter pressure from some states who are opposing extension of package to Himachal and Uttarakhand for triggering industrial migration from these state. He said that the Union government has not denied extension of the package but it has to strike a balance by taking all states together.
Launching an attack on Dhumal, he said that it was the state government’s fault to dilute the strong claim by putting another tall claim to extend it till 2020 by passing and sending a Vidhan Sabha resolution to the Centre. He said that it appears that Dhumal is not serious on this issue and is indulged in pity political gain by raising such an irrelevant issue at this juncture when many states are opposing extension of the industrial package.
While replying to media report in which Dhumal has charged him of creating hurdles in extension of the package, he termed it ‘untrue and baseless’ and an act to undermine state government’s mistakes and shirk from the responsibility. He said that Dhumal’s allegation that the state has been singled down by the centre was a wrong notion, and being member of the Union cabinet he had raised the issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who also told him that some states are putting pressure on centre not to extend the package.
He added that the BJP MLAs were busy making political statement over the issue instead of raising the matter collectively before the centre to counter the pressure from other states.
On the other hand, Education Minister ID Dhiman and IPH Minister Ravinder Singh Ravi said that after having failed to protect the interest of Himachal, Virbhadra Singh was trying to pass on the buck that it was because of the demand for extension of the industrial package till 2020 by the state government that it was not being extended by the centre.