Congress Neglected Inter-State Issues – Balnatha

Shimla: The BJP today held the previous congress government responsible for neglecting inter-state issues that have hindered the developmental process in the hill state.

“The previous Virbhadra Singh government by not cultivating good relations with the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana has harmed the state developmental process,” said Khushi Ram Balnatha, general secretary BJP.

He told the media that the Prem Kumar Dhumal government by opening up a dialogue with chief minister Prakash Singh Badal had been able to get the Punjab government to agree to road linking Baddi with Chandigarh by 2009. They have also agreed to providing an expressway link to Mohali, where and international airport is coming up, he said.

The government had got the partner states to agree to an official discussion about the rights issues on the Shah Nehar irrigation project. A lead has been taken into forming a hill states forum, across party lines to deal with common issues collectively with the central government, he said.

The previous congress government, even though the neighboring states were governed by the same party, had failed to sort out many inter-state contentious issues. By taking the inter-state dispute over proportional share in the Bhakra-Beas project to the Supreme Court, they delayed early settlement of the issue, he said.

Talking about the two day party working committee meet at Manali, Balnatha said that besides the political resolution an economic resolution expressing central governments inability to control prices was passed.

While declining to ask the state government to reduce state taxes on petrol and diesel, the BJP general secretary said that with inflation at over 11%, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister P Chidambaram appeared to have surrendered to the situation.

The BJP general secretary said that the party was being geared up for the Lok Sabha poll. “Since the election would be contested on new delimitated constituencies, the party was in the process of re-organizing its district and constituency units, he said.

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