Congress launches campaign against BJP from HP’s apple belt
Shimla rural legislator Vikramaditya Singh, who is also party’s general secretary, launched the campaign from Rohru – the assembly constituency his father former CM Virbhadra Singh represented five times
Two days after Samyut Kisan Morcha took to the streets against the spiralling input cost of packaging material for fruits in Himachal Pradesh, the opposition Congress on Saturday launched a ‘Halla Bol’ (raise your voice) protest against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government. Shimla rural legislator Vikramaditya Singh, who is also party’s general secretary, launched the campaign from Rohru – the assembly constituency his father former CM Virbhadra Singh represented five times.
A large number of apple growers took part in the protests led by Vikramaditya, who accused the Jai Ram Thakur-led government of ruining the apple economy of the state.
Taking a dig at horticulture minister Mahendra Singh, he said the minister shows little concern about the farmers, who have been left in the lurch due to spiralling input costs.
Vikramaditya said the government is bluffing the farmers by announcing a reduction in the rates of GST on cartons.
He said the previous Congress government led by his father Virbhadra had brought a project worth ₹1,134 crore for the horticulture sector keeping in mind the interests of farmers, but nothing was implemented by the present regime.
He said nobody knows where the money was spent. “If voted to power, the Congress government will investigate the scam and culprits will be brought to book,” he added.
He alleged that the BJP government has done a great injustice to the farmers by ignoring their interests.
Rohru MLA Mohan Lal Brakta, meanwhile, claimed that the BJP has always neglected the apple growers. He said the BJP was making false attempts to take credit for the development of Rohru. “The development of Rohru is the gift of Virbhadra Singh, which no one can deny,” he added.
District Congress president Atul Sharma also criticised the “anti-farmer” policies of the BJP and said the voice of the farmers would not be suppressed.
BJP hits back
Himachal BJP vice-president Payal Vaidya said that MLA Vikramaditya’s statement about the leaders of her party from Rohru was quite unfortunate.
Addressing a rally and referring to women by such language shows the negative mentality of the Congress leader, she added.
“Late Virbhadra Singh was known for his character and the way he gave respect to the women. But Vikramaditya seems nowhere close to his father,” she said, asking Vikramaditya to tender an apology to the women BJP leaders.