Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh held the previous BJP government led by Prem Kumar Dhumal responsible for failing to protect the interests of the state by handing out prime power projects to central agencies without ensuring equity in them.
Talking to myHimachal, chief minister Virbhadra Singh said that the Dhumal government despite there being a precedent of allotting projects on joint venture basis like the Natpha Jhakri project choose to ignore it and handed out the 2100 MW Parvati project and the 800 MW Kol Dam project to NHPC and NTPC. “Even the earlier Shanta Kumar led government had kept a token 5 percent equity in Parvati project but the Dhumal government gave them out just on royalty basis,” he said.
The chief minister said that despite the BJP’s sellout he had tried to secure equity in these projects but NHPC and NTPC did not relent as agreements had been firmed up by the Dhumal government.
Talking about the teachers recruitment thorough Parent Teacher Associations (PTA), Virbhadra said that BJP was unnecessarily trying to intimidate employees and teachers with disciplinary action and retrenchment but the fact was that the PTA policy had been able to provide teachers in most schools when there was a shortfall, and students were suffering. Regular recruitment through Subordinate Selection Board and HP public service commission were also under process, he added.
About the election schedule announced by the Election Commission he said that the congress was not afraid of facing an early election but Dhumal and Shanta Kumar took a very narrow view when they said that they had no problem with the scheduled dates announced. “These leaders only spoke on behalf of the areas they represent and have failed to realize that there are 22 other constituencies which get affected because of cold conditions in December,” said Virbhadra.
Regarding candidates for the elections Virbhadra said that winability and party loyalty would be considered for giving tickets. He said that Sat Mahajan and Sukh Ram have expressed their inability to contest the election, but Raj Kishan Gaur, the agriculture minister, would be contesting for another term.