Transport minister GS Bali has announced a march to mobilise the youth to demand more employment from the government, in a move seen as a revolt against chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
During a hurriedly convened press conference on Saturday, Bali, known for his apt political maneuvering, launched the Lakshya Rozgar Yatra and said he will fight for the cause of the unemployed.
"I have always been advocating for more employment in the state," the minister said.
The transport minister's relation with Virbhadra Singh has soured ever since after a group of legislators wrote a letter questioning the recruitment of conductors in Himachal Pradesh Road Transport Corporation.
However, on Saturday, Bali parried questions about the move being seen as a virtual revolt against his own government. He also gave a guarded reply when asked whether he was comfortable being in the government. "I am very comfortable but because of me a few within and outside the government are not comfortable," he said.
Bali had in 2012 as well launched a similar 'Berozgar Sangharsh Yatra' and earlier this year organised a rally at his assembly segment Nagrota Bagwan.
At the press conference, media persons also tried to get the transport minister to talk about the Congress's recent move to divide Kangra district in its organisational structure.
Bali, whose constituency falls in the same district, and is perceived to be sulking over his party's move, said he had kept his viewpoint before the Congress high command and general secretary incharge, Ambika Soni. Replying to a question that it was Congress state chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu who took the division, he said: "Let him do what he likes to do."
About the conductor recruitment issue, that caused his relations with the chief minister to sour, Bali said the matter is subjudice but said he will write to all the applicants and apologise to them.
"I will write to all applicants that I wanted to generate employment but due to certain reasons it was halted," he added.
Trial run of battery-operated vehicles
The transport minister also said battery operated 7-seater vehicles will be put to trial in Shimla. He said if the trial is successful, more vehicles will be put on a trial run at Manali, in view of the green tribunal's order to ply pollution-free vehicles to Rohtang.