By BIJENDER SHARMA , Hardnews
"There is no dissidence in Bhartiya Janta Party in the state," claimed Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Prem Kumar Dhumal in an exclusive interview to Hardnews. With the general elections right around the corner, this statement is a sign that the BJP is treading cautiously in its efforts to return to power at the Centre.
"Both the party and the government are functioning in perfect harmony in Himachal. We are work and consult each other on important matters". With regard to election strategy, Dhumal adds, "Our strategy is simple-we have to win all four seats of the State. To achieve this, we shall concentrate on two issues-the achievements of the BJP government brought about in just one year, and failures of the previous Congress government in the state as well as the present UPA government at the Centre."
He also claims that the BJP government in Himachal Pradesh is one of the most stable state governments in the country, and it enjoys full confidence and support of people.
Dhumal refuted the charge that his government was soft on cases of corruption against the previous Virbhadra Singh regime. He said that all the cases were being investigated. "The government would act only on the basis of concrete evidence to ensure that no guilty person was spared and no innocent harassed", he said.
On the developmental policies of the state government, Dhumal said:" Despite inheriting a near bankrupt economy, our government has been able to adequately respond to the development needs of the state. It needed herculean effort to get our developmental works in action. What made it worse were the anti-people policies of the previous Congress government. As of now, there are no financial problems in the state."
Dhumal also made it clear that the state government is committed to fulfilling its poll promises. "We made our election manifesto as the Government's Policy Document for action. We are taking extra care to preserve the environment of the state by initiating effective steps in this direction and we are striving to preserve and protect our natural heritage to attract tourists in large numbers.", he said.
Dhumal adds, "Blooming of the tourism sector would generate ample employment opportunities to the local people and create sources of revenue for sustainable development of the Himachal Pradesh. The state government intends to encourage private partnership in association with the local communities, NGOs, academic institutions and other entrepreneurs to make eco-tourism a house hold affair in the state. We also need to explore the natural wealth the state has been blessed with, for the benefit of the people."
Underlining the importance of sports and the attention the State Government is paying to develop sports in the State, the chief minister says, "Nearly Rs 40 crore would be spent on strengthening sports infrastructure during the next four years. Rs 8 crore has already been allocated to set up synthetic tracks at Hamirpur and Dharamsala.
The state government is providing three per cent reservation to sportspersons in government services. In the past, many distinguished sportspersons who have brought laurels to the state have been honoured and this tradition would continue in future also."