Shimla: Irrespective of the December election outcome, the present government would complete its term, chief minister Virbhadra Singh stated before the media today.
He said that the Election Commission could have averted the constitutional crisis had it rescheduled the poll dates to accommodate logistic concerns of conducting a winter poll in the state.
Claiming that the congress would return to power with a big majority, the chief minister said it was wrong to construe that the congress party was afraid of facing the electorate. Referring to declared BSP chief ministerial candidate Vijay Singh Mankotia’s statements, he said that people who were yet to prove their electoral worth were making the loudest noise.
He said that announcement of the elections to the assembly even when the present one was yet to complete its term was unprecedented. The state government was not consulted, nor have the genuine concerns of conducting a poll been heard. But now that the dates stand finalized, the matter is closed, said Virbhadra.
He said the BJP feared the development agenda of the congress government. The states achievements had been appreciated in national and international forums.
Many important announcements and development projects which have been completed could not be inaugurated as the code of conduct has come into effect.
The government was to consider giving unemployment allowance and raising of retirement age, when the sudden enforcement of code of conduct for elections has been thrust on the state, said the chief minister.
He said that even though the congress is set to return to power, the present government would continue to discharge its constitutional mandate till March 9 when the it term ends. The next set of elected members will only take over after that, he added.
He said the Hamirpur and Shimla water supply schemes stand completed, so does the Tanda Medical College in Kangra. These projects would be formally inaugurated after the code of conduct is lifted in by the New Year. The Tanda Medical College would be dedicated to the people on 1st of January, 2008, said Virbhadra.
He also said that the foundation stones for the Indian Institute of Technology in Mandi, a Central University in Kangra and the Bhanupali-Bilaspur railway line would be laid by this government, before the expiry of the present governments’ term.
He said that the congress party was totally united and there was no leadership dispute. He said that on the basis of the past performance, he would lead the state party to seek a fresh mandate from the people where as the BJP was a divided house, for the Shanta and Dhumal factions were fighting it out openly.
About former communication minister Sukh Ram reported statement of conditional support for the congress party if his son was not given a ticket this time, Virbhadra said that Sukh Ram had denied having made such a statement.
However, the chief minister said that Sukh Ram’s son would be given a ticket in the forthcoming election.
About other candidates, he said that loyalty to the party and winability would be the main considerations for selecting right candidates.