Chief minister Virbhada Singh on Sunday lashed out at his bête noir and former CM Prem Kumar Dhumal, calling him the most vindictive politician in the history of the state. In a lighter vein, he commented, “Dhumal did not even possess the acumen of becoming a patwari.” He was addressing a public meeting at Bangana in Kutlehar segment.
Drawing comparisons between Dhumal and former BJP chief minister Shanta Kumar, the CM said the latter had never been vindictive towards the leaders of opposition, adding that Shanta always talked in a dignified tone. He commented that since Dhumal's upbringing was in his second house in Punjab, he had developed a different culture.
Virbhadra said Dhumal had remained the CM for two terms and had slapped criminal cases against him (Virbhadra) during each term. First, he said was the Sagar Kattha case and second, the alleged audio CD case, adding that he was acquitted in both these cases after facing trials in the sessions courts.
The CM named Dhumal and the then director general of police, DS Manhas, as having connived against him in the audio-CD case. He charged that statements were manipulated in the DGP's office and fake documents were cooked up.
Virbhadra admonished the local party leadership of Kutlehar segment for being divided during elections for vested interests. He said the Congress had not won the seat for the past five terms due to the ongoing tussle between the contenders for the party ticket. He said this would not be allowed to continue and that all local leaders should ensure a win for the party candidate in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
The CM announced a new primary health centre at Raipur village, upgrade of Rainsary and Chalola schools to senior secondary level, Kodhra school to high level, starting commerce classes from the coming session at Budhan school and 25 new hand pumps to combat the problem of drinking water in remote areas of the segment.
Earlier, the CM inaugurated the hockey Astroturf field, constructed at the Indira stadium in Una at a cost of Rs 5 crore. He also inaugurated the second phase complex of the district ayurvedic hospital besides laying the foundation stones of primary health centre at Lathiani, improved water distribution system at Dhundla, residential complex at the district hospital, training centre of Punjab National Bank at Una and PWD superintending engineer office at Una. The total cost of projects initiated on Sunday was about Rs 12 crore.
IPH minister Vidya Stokes, industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri and chairman of the state finance commission Kuldip Kumar accompanied the CM.