As monkey menace has always remained a major issue during the polls in the hill state, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has promised to tackle the problem in its manifesto released on Tuesday. The party is contesting the Shimla and Mandi Lok Sabha seats.
Accusing the previous Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party governments of “ignoring the common people of the state”, CPM state committee member Kuldip Singh Tanwar claimed that the menace had caused unemployment, as many farmers were forced to leave agriculture due to losses caused by the animals.
Addressing mediapersons here while releasing the party’s 25-point manifesto, Tanwar alleged that the Congress and the BJP had “mocked” the issue and were “never serious” about tackling the problem.
“Himachal is the least urbanised area where agriculture and horticulture are the main occupation. Due to wild animals, especially monkeys, farmers have suffered losses worth crores of rupees,” he added.
Farmers in the state have stopped cultivating more than one lakh hectares only because of the risks posed by monkeys and other animals, he claimed. “The only solution to this problem is to export monkeys and grant permission to kill the animals which are causing trouble,” added Tanwar.
Accusing the Congress and the BJP of “underplaying the real issues”, Tanwar alleged, “Prem Kumar Dhumal and Virbhadra Singh are the two main poll issues in the state, while Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi are in same position in the national poll arena for both main parties. Instead of addressing the real issues, both parties are fighting for the selfinterest of their leaders.”
CPM state secretariat member Tikender Panwar said a BJP-led government was “never an alternate” to the Congressled United Progressive Alliance government. “Both parties have similar economic policies which are directly responsible for inflation,” he said.
He alleged that the Congress government had awarded tax benefit of 21 lakh crore to rich people in the country, while only 1.5 lakhcrore was required for distributing ration to everyone.