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Cong vision: HP can be Switzerland

Addressing his first election rally in the state, the PM says the Congress plans to promote tourism and improve the infrastructure.

india Updated: Dec 18, 2007 03:13 IST

Prime minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said the Congress envisages developing Himachal Pradesh into a Switzerland, by promoting tourism and improving the existing infrastructure.

Addressing his first election rally in Himachal Pradesh on the last day of campaigning in the state, the Prime Minister asked the people to reject the BJP, as the party has always divided people using regionalism, casteism and discrimination.

In his 25-minute speech, he said they must become aware of the “real face” of the BJP. “When the BJP was in power, development had come to a standstill and state treasury was empty.”

“Vote for the Congress if you want an environment of development and peace. If the Congress is back in power, the Centre will give more help to the state,” he urged.

He added that since the UPA is in power, the Centre has helped the state achieve targets by increasing financial assistance.

He lauded the state for achieving a 9.5 per cent growth rate and praised the fact that every household has a bank account. He applauded the Virbhadra Singh government for its achievements in the education, health, social and industrial sectors and for its success in generating employment.

Singh pointed out that Himachal Pradesh has emerged one of the top states in the country on the development index, since it got statehood under former prime minister Indira Gandhi.

“The credit for this goes to former chief minister Dr YS Parmar. And of course, the successive Congress governments in Himachal that ensured equal development in all areas of the state. Your state will one day be known as one of the best areas in the world in terms of facilities and indicators,” he said.

The Centre had recently promised an IIT and a central university in Himachal. “Our dream is to make Himachal a education hub,” he said.