Hemkunt Sahib to be developed as fifth Dham: Uttarakhand CM

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Patiala
  • Updated: Feb 15, 2016 08:48 IST
Members of the Garhwal Sabha, Punjab, honouring Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat (centre) in Patiala on Sunday. Congress legislator Brahm Mohindra is third from right. (Bharat Bhushan/HT Photo)

Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat has said his government is developing all Sikh shrines in the state as major religious tourism destinations. “Gurdwara Hemkunt Sahib is being developed as fifth Dham (after the Hindu pilgrim centres of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath) in the state, with better roads and ropeway connectivity that will start this year,” he said.

“The road to Gurdwaras Nanak Matta and Reetha Sahib has also been upgraded for the coming pilgrim season,” Rawat in Patiala on Sunday, during a Garhwali Community programme that legislator Brahm Mohindra had organised.

In the address, he also termed the Niti Aayog a failure of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the Centre, and said the disbanded Planning Commission was a much better platform for resolving the Centre-state issues and bringing development.

Without naming BJP’s rulingcoalition partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), he said the failures of PM Narendra Modi had started upsetting his allies. “The PM disbanded Planning Commission, saying now Niti Aayog will deliver a federal structure of decision-making. However, now every decision has to be cleared by the PM, while in Planning Commission, the deputy chairman had all the powers and solutions,” he said.

“I am not saying this because I am in the Congress. Even the BJP’s coalition partners have blamed Niti Aayog openly, as it has proved a disadvantage to their states,” he said, adding: “The PM has centralised powers and rendered the ministers and coalition partners ineffective, which has derailed development and the GDP (gross domestic product) growth.”

On the Jawaharlal Nehru University incident, he said the state government of Delhi and the NDA government at the Centre had two different versions of what had happened. “Anti-India slogans are not a good thing but here it seems that the Modi government played up this issue to divert public attention from its failures,” said the Uttarakhand CM.

Later, he addressed the Uttrakhand people living in Patiala and made them take a pledge to vote for the Congress next year in Punjab.

Brahm Mohindra and the other Congress leaders honoured Rawat for his government’s work of upgrading the gurdwaras and helping out the Punjabi community in the hill state.

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