Chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday embarked on election campaign for the upcoming Mandi constituency byelection from tribal Bharmour in Chamba district.
The chief minister went on a foundation stone laying spree in the Bharmour assembly constituency that falls in Mandi parliamentary constituency.
He performed the stone laying ceremony of the Bharmour police station to be constructed at a cost of Rs 146.21 lakh and three-storied car parking with a capacity to park 45 vehicles to be constructed at a cost of Rs 66.39 lakh.
Later, addressing a public meeting at Chourasi Temple Complex, Vribhadra said the state government had reopened all 149 schools which were denotified by the previous government.
Stressing upon the need to preserve rich cultural heritage of the tribal areas of the hill state, the CM said the government was endeavoured to promote all these areas as religious tourism destinations.
"I had represented the Mandi parliamentary constituency five times and many areas of this constituency were in the tribal belt and I am very well aware of specific local problems of people of tribal areas," said Virbhadra. He further said the state government was encouraging the private entrepreneurs to construct hydel projects which would provide employment avenues to the local youth.
"The present government has made significant achievements in the past five months and many important decisions have been taken which would go a long way in the development of the state," said Virbhadra, accusing the previous government of neglecting the interests of people and giving jobs on the party lines, whereas the present government was committed to provide jobs on ability and merit basis. He said the state government was endeavoured to fill the vacant posts in all departments, wherein priority was being given to the people of tribal areas.
The chief minister assured the people that their demands would be met sympathetically. He announced Rs 5,000 each to cultural troupes for presenting a colourful cultural programme on the occasion.
Earlier, he paid obeisance at the famous Chourasi Temple after arriving at Bharmour.
Forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri welcomed the chief minister and detailed about the various development activities being carried out in Bharmour and Pangi area of Chamba district. He requested the chief minister to declare Mani Mahesh Yatra of Bharmour as international fair like Minjar of Chamba.
Among others who were present on the occasion were former minister and Dalhousie MLA Asha Kumari, chairman, HP Pollution Control Board, Kuldeep Singh Pathania and HRTC vice-chairman Kewal Singh Pathania.