Former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal on Saturday lambasted the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over issues of unemployment, inflation, corruption and insensitivity to internal and external aggressions. Addressing mediapersons here, he said the Congress was pinning its hopes on the Food Security bill to sail through the coming general elections, adding that the people of the country understand that is just a poll gimmick.
Dhumal said direct transfer of cash subsidy schemes had failed miserably since many people still do not have Aadhar cards. Even if they have them, subsidies are not being released into their bank accounts. He said the scheme was tried in a village in Rajasthan on supply of subsidised kerosene, but the result was that more than one third of the villagers did not purchase kerosene, which was provided at market rates.
He charged that the UPA government had introduced the scheme to dissuade people from procuring subsidised essential items.
The former CM said the congress had contested and won the last elections over the publicity it gained by implementing MNREGS. However, he said as per a planning commission document, there was maximum corruption in this scheme. He said while our soldiers were being butchered by the enemy and Chinese soldiers were freely intruding into our country, the Indian government was just mum.
Mocking at the announcement of the special industrial package by the central government to Himachal Pradesh, Dhumal said industrial packages come with total exemption of excise and production taxes along with partial exemption of income tax and other sops, like the one announced by the Atal Behari Vajpayee led NDA government. He said the Congress was trying to confuse and mislead the people of the state by terming the capital investment subsidy on industries with the industrial package.
The leader of opposition in the Vidhan Sabha said the BJP had offered to support the state government over the issues of extending industrial package and payment of arrears to the state from the Bhakra-Beas Management Board, but the state Congress government was only confusing the people. He remarked that while there was news of union commerce minister Anand Sharma announcing the industrial package at Shimla on one day, the next day there was news of industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri seeking industrial package at the centre. He said there have been so many announcements with state cabinet ministers rushing to and from between Shimla and Delhi, but nothing concrete has come out for the general public so far.
Replying to a question, Dhumal set aside rumours about the BJP contemplating the change of candidate for the Hamirpur parliamentary seat.
Earlier, Dhumal participated in a BJP worker's training camp organised at a private resort. He was accompanied by former minister Parveen Sharma, former MLA Balbir Chaudhary and BJP media co-in charge Hari Om Bhanot.