Shimla: Prime minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh asked the hill voter to reject BJP in the elections for the party only stood for narrow gains and relied on religion, regionalism and caste for electoral gains
Addressing an election rally in Bilaspur, the prime minister said that congress stood for development and had made Himachal Pradesh a front leading state in development since the state was carved out while the BJP regimes have halted its economic growth.
â€œSince Himachal Pradesh was separately constituted in 1966, the congress party has worked sincerely for the development of the hill state,â€ said the prime minister.
Where as only 20 per cent of population was literate, 40 years ago, today the literacy rate of Himachal Pradesh has touched almost 90 per cent, he said.
It was because of the hard work of the congress government in the state and the UPA government at the Center that Himachal Pradesh was able to achieve a growth rate of over 9.5 per cent in 2007, said Manmohan Singh.
Taking pot shots at BJP, the prime minister said that the saffron party had nothing worthwhile to show as developmental achievements made and was using caste, religion and regionalism issues for electoral gains.
The prime minister in his 25 minute speech emphasized that late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and founding chief minister of Himachal Pradesh Yaswant Singh Parmar had laid the foundations of growth and successive congress regimes have registered tremendous growth in the field of education, health and power.
The Prime Minister said Congress party envisaged developing Himachal into Switzerland, with tourism promotion and improving the already existing infrastructure, including the airports.
He said keeping in view the conditions in the hill state, the centre had extended the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for the rural unemployed to four districts of Himachal, and now all the 12 districts of the state will be benefited by the scheme
from April next.
“We have also taken up work on the Bhanupali Bilaspur rail line project, which was along pending demand of the people and the government hereâ€™â€™, he said
The Prime Minister said investment worth Rs 27,000 crore has come to Himachal in the past five years which would generate about three lakh jobs. Finance Minister P Chidambaram had already announced one central university in the state and an IIT to lift the standard of higher education in the state, he said.
The Bilaspur-Bhanupali stands approved and a container depot at Baddi was in the offing, he said adding the airports at Kullu and Kangra were being upgraded.
The Prime minister said that the centre had also chosen Shimla for the Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission, wherein there would be a massive development of infrastructure in terms of roads, town planning, drinking water schemes and tourism facilities.