The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday launched a massive protest outside the Vidhan Sabha under its week-long “Badla-Badli” (vendetta-transfers) agitation amid mild clashes with the police.
Before the rally culminated outside the Vidhan Sabha, BJP's top brass along with workers gathered at Ambedkar Chowk at Chaura maidan. The frontline leaders castigated the Congress for “massive” transfers of government employees and “political vendetta”.
Chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal accused the Congress government of acting with political spite. “One can imagine harassment from the fact that government employees related to BJP workers were transferred several times within six months,” he said.
Referring to chief minister Virbhadra Singh's reply in the House, he said the chief minister himself had admitted that 15 PRI representatives were suspended while three terminated.
He flayed the government over the circular issued to seek details of party affiliations of PRI representatives.
“The government should use police for law and order purposes instead of settling political scores,” he said.
Dhumal alleged that the government had failed to handle the situation that arose after the rain wreaked havoc across the state.
Dhumal drew parallel between his previous regimes when rain ravaged tribal Kinnaur district in 2000.
“In 2000, pea crop was transported in helicopter, whereas this time the chief minister himself had to ride a earthmover to reach his vehicle when he was stuck in the recent floods in Kinnaur,” he said, adding that the Congress government had failed to get relief from the Centre.
“The Congress has tried to mislead people claiming that the Centre has been benevolent towards rain-ravaged areas. It should clarify that where the money has gone,” said Dhumal.
Dhumal said it was wrong to blame him for the telephone tapping. “Phone tapping is still under investigation, then how can somebody blame someone,” he said.
Known for his fiery speech, BJP president Satpal Singh Satti cautioned the Congress against large-scale transfers of employees in the state. “When our time will come, we will pay them back in the same coin,” he added.
He said the officers and employees acting on political consideration would be taken to task when the BJP would return to power.
He said the Congress government's interference in student politics has vitiated academic environment of colleges and universities.
“Student politics should be free from political interference,” he said.
Shimla MP Virender Kashyap said the Congress government in the state failed to get any special financial assistance.
Meanwhile, the Shimla legislator accused the state government of failing in fulfilling the poll promises. Though the protest was by and large peaceful, tension ran high when the BJP workers tried to cross over the barricades near the Vidhan Sabha. To prevent them, the police used mild canes, but no one sustained injuries.