Notwithstanding the pressure being mounted on him by the Bharatiya Janata Party to leave his chair, Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday said only the public could change governments.
“It’s not once but the BJP has made several attempts to destabilise my government. But, barring the public of the state, no one can remove me,” Virbhadra told reporters on the sidelines of a function organised at Indira Gandhi Medical College to mark its 50th foundation day.
Interestingly, health minister Kaul Singh Thakur was not accompanying the CM and instead chose to inaugurate a community health centre in Rajwari in Mandi district.
Addressing the gathering at the function, Virbhadra said it was a matter of great honour for any institution to complete 50 years of existence, and he was proud that IGMC, a premier health institution of the state, had traversed a long and successful journey in the service of the people of the state by providing best of health services.
Set up in 1966, IGMC, known as Snowdon hospital earlier, is a well-established centre of research and quality health services, fully equipped with modern tools and machinery.
“Though much expansion has been done, the government is working upon setting up a separate campus of the hospital in the suburbs of Shimla to cater to the needs of people,” he said, adding that the process to have a second campus of the IGMC at Chamyana in Shimla district had been started.
He said new projects in the pipeline to strengthen the hospital were construction of a new multi-storey OPD block near Auckland Tunnel, a super specialty block and a new block of Kamla Nehru Hospital.
“Today, we can proudly say that the hospital expanded and developed during the regimes of the successive Congress governments,” Virbhadra said, adding that the government would provide all support and assistance to the hospital in times to come so that the patients did not have to go out of the state and spend enormously for treatment of critical ailments.
He also told the gathering about the cabinet approval to an emergency medicine department each at the IGMC and Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical Government College and Hospital at Tanda in Kangra district.
The chief minister said the government was committed to strengthening health infrastructure in the rural areas of the state, so that quality health services were provided to the people at their doorsteps, and steps were being taken to fill all vacant posts in the far-flung and rural areas of the state, adding that more health institutions were either being upgraded or opened in such areas.
On the occasion, the CM released a special cover of the postal department to mark the golden jubilee celebrations of the IGMC. He was also presented a stamp album by the chief post master general.
The CM was accompanied by social justice and empowerment minister Dhani Ram Shandil.
‘Remove Dhumal to save BJP’
While addressing a meeting at Parsa in Shekhal gram panchayat in Rohru tehsil of Shimla district, the chief minister said he won’t get moved by the false propaganda of the opposition.
“Dhumals accusing me of unaccounted income was witch -hunting and unfortunate, as I have nothing to hide and all I have has been inherited from my ancestors,” he said, adding that the only way to save the BJP was to remove former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal from the party.
Virbhadra said he became a chief minister not because of the mercy of Dhumal, but in a democratic manner, adding that it was due to the love and support of the people of the state that he became a chief minister for the sixth time.
“Twice false cases were framed against me by the BJP government and both the times, I came out clean. Now, the CD case filed in the court against me was turned down by the Supreme Court sending shockwaves in the opposition camp,” the CM said.
Praising BJP stalwart and Kangra MP Shanta Kumar, he said though there existed difference of opinions between him and Shanta, he was a man of principles.
‘I like watching epic shows’
“I am not fond of watching movies, but like epic shows depicting the life story and struggles of legendary kings,” Virbhadra said while interacting with the media.
“I love to watch serials like Maharana Pratap and Ashoka whenever I get time. Most of the time I watch news channels,” he said.
“I love to listen to all types of songs, in any language, depending on their lyrics and music,” he said when asked about his favourite song.