Shimla (Oct 22): “Becoming a Chief Minister is not the prerogative of people belonging to feudal class; person from downtrodden and agriculture section of society can also lead a state.” These were the words of Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal reacting to Union steel minister’s statement terming the former as incompetent.
Addressing a heavily attended press conference called to repudiate the Union Steel minister’s statements regarding not providing land for setting up of steel plants in the state, Dhumal alleged that Virbhadra was misleading the people.
He said that the state government was ready to render every kind of help in setting up steel plants. He said rather than making statements, the Union minister should categorically tell where the central ministry intends to establish the plants and the state government would help in whatever way possible.
Lambasting statement by Virbhadra Singh about alleged mismanagement during the apple season, Dhumal said that despite a bumper crop and unprecedented rainfall in the state, the state government managed to transport about 4.15 crore apple boxes out of state. Ridiculing the statement by Virbhadra Singh that he has failed as a Chief Minister, Dhumal said: “It is not the prerogative of person from feudal class to be the Chief Minister. A person from downtrodden and agriculture sections of the society can also lead the state. The former five-times Chief Minister of the state should have knowledge of democratic norms and such statements are not expected from him,” said Dhumal.
Prem Kumar Dhumal charged Steel Minister for misusing the state machinery during his terms as Chief Minister of the state. “In one such case of misuse of state machinery, land sold to an industrialist for Rs 3.63 crore at Nalagarh for setting up an industry there was further sold by the industrialist for Rs 7.83 crore in the year 2007 against the norms,” the CM alleged.