HindustanTimes Tue,23 Dec 2014

Cong, BJP offices abuzz with activity, UKD's looks gloomy

Nihi Sharma Sahani  Dehradun, April 05, 2014
First Published: 15:55 IST(5/4/2014) | Last Updated: 16:26 IST(5/4/2014)

Dehradun: With just 32 days left for Lok Sabha polls in Uttarakhand, political parties have speeded up their activities. While city offices of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress are witnessing several activities, office of regional party Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) adorns a bleak look. At the office of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) a lot of activity is planned.


Political parties like BJP and AAP have made their respective city offices in the capital as the headquarters for the Tehri LS constituency. The nominations in all constituencies will begin on April 12 and conclude on April 19. The scrutiny of nominations will be done on April 21 and candidates can withdraw names till April 23.

At the BJP city office, which is also the headquarters for Tehri LS constituency, party workers gather at 11 am. Dehradun city incharge Neelam Seghal also reaches the office by that time. Thereafter, party workers hold round table meetings. The meetings currently underway deal primarily with arrangements for the nomination.

Maharani Mala Rajyalakshmi Shah, BJP candidate for Tehri LS polls is likely to file her nomination on April 13. Thus, along with office bearers party members are preparing for her rally on that day. Various works like hiring vehicles, confirming attendance of party workers, printing of posters and banners are undertaken.

“Party workers gather at city office by 11 and thereafter we start making preparations for nomination day. Our workers are arranging everything whether it’s hiring vehicles or printing posters and banners. These days there’s a great rush at the office. Party workers are reaching office and participating in large numbers,” Seghal told HT.

While the BJP knows what to do, Congress is in sheer confusion. The Congress has not announced its final list of candidates which has left party workers in confusion. Though workers reach party office by 12 noon, they remain clueless what to do. Instead of making arrangements, party workers are busy lobbying.

Surendra Kumar, state spokesperson Congress shared, “The party hasn’t announced its candidate but that’s not affecting us. But, our leaders are already seeking votes in their respective areas. Congress MLAs like Dinesh Aggarwal and Rajkumar have started interacting with locals seeking their vote. Every worker has also started campaigning in his or her own way. We are not behind; we are always on the forefront.”

On the other hand, the city party office of UKD was silent on Friday. Factions have emerged in the regional party recently. Under such circumstances, there’s hardly any activity at the office. Though the party has declared its candidate for Tehri, Haridwar and Pauri constituencies, no preparations can be seen on the ground. Party office of AAP too remained busy scheduling rallies in coming days.

more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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