Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) chief Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu's decision to “divide Kangra” into four organisational district units has come haunting the party, as furious transport minister GS Bali, strongly opposing the move, has threatened to go to any extent to prevent the split.
“Though its prerogative of the HPCC chief to decided upon organisational matters, but I strongly oppose the move of creating new organisational units out of Kangra and all the district units hold a similar opinion,” said Bali.
Instead of having the four organisational districts, Bali suggested, there should be four zones and the district should remain one and hence the organisational elections should be held for one district body and four zones.
With the elected officer bearers of district Congress, Youth Congress and National Student Union of India (NSUI) rallying behind him, Bali said the party should have built a consensus before taking such a decision.
“We will also lodge our protest with the high command,” said Bali and added that he had already appraised state party incharge Ambika Soni about his opinion and a delegation of Congress men from the district would soon be meeting Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice- president Rahul Gandhi.
“If the party remains adamant, we will go to next level in saving Kangra. I will fight to full strength in protecting interests of the Kangra district and its people,” he asserted.
Seemingly annoyed over the high command giving its nod to the 'divide' move, Bali said, “We will inform the high command about the real situation. All I know is that the debate on dividing Kangra should be stopped.”
On whether Congress was toeing on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the issue, Bali said that any step intended at dividing Kangra proved suicidal.
“In fact it was the BJP, who was the first one to tread on this idea and today the people of the district have even started forgetting the names of the three legislators who won in 2012 assembly polls,” said Bali.
“Don't know who starts debate on this idea again and again,” he said, adding that the debate, instead, should be that why don't we have four district instead of twelve?”
Supporting his argument, Bali said Himachal was already facing financial constraints and being all its areas well connected could be governed by having four administrative units in four parliamentary constituencies.
The firebrand leader also wondered that why people always talked about dividing Kangra. “Don't know why Kangra always becomes a sore of eye to some people. “Why don't they talk about clubbing the districts carved out from Kangra?” he asked.
Even if we want equal development in all districts, the focus should be on reorganisation of district and not on fragmentation.
Speaking on the issue of setting up permanent campus of Central University of Himachal Pradesh, Bali said the institution was allotted for Kangra and should come up at any place in the district.
“There should be clarity on the issue now and there should no more be delay in setting up the CUHP campus,” Bali said.
He said the government was intended at equal development of all the areas and that was why Himachal Pradesh Technical University was set up at Hamirpur, while Indian Institute of Management was proposed to come up in Sirmaur.