Himachal on road to progress from model to number 1 state: Nadda
BJP president JP Nadda on Monday said that Himachal Pradesh has come a long way in 50 years and he is confident the state will continue its journey of progress to emerge as the number 1 state by its 75th anniversary.
“We have come a long way and have miles to go. I’m confident the model state will continue this journey of progress under (chief minister) Jai Ram Thakur’s leadership. Changing Himachal is a picture of changing India,” he said while addressing a function in Shimla to mark the state’s golden jubilee celebrations.
Urging Himachalis to preserve their cultural heritage, he said: “We have potential in tourism, horticulture and agriculture.”
He said the Narendra Modi government had restored the special category status for state and under the 14th finance commission, it got ₹18,000 crore. “Work on the Atal Tunnel at Rohtang Pass was restarted and today it’s strategic from the defence point of view, too,” said Nadda, who represented Bilaspur in the state assembly in 1993, 1998 and 2007.
CREDIT ACROSS PARTY LINES
“We have seen many difficulties, many achievements. Today, we are a model state. Initially, there were no roads, no health institutions or schools. Today, we can proudly say that we are one of the developed states with a literacy rate of 86% and mortality rate of only 8%,” the BJP chief said.
Nadda said people could not forget the contribution of the state’s first chief minister, YS Parmar. “If we have made it as a major category state despite being a smaller one, we can’t forget the contribution of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh,” he said, adding that “similarly former CM Shanta Kumar contributed in strengthening the drinking water supply scheme and also fought the battle for royalty on water.”
Nadda remembered the contribution of former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal in strengthening the road network under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana launched by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
“Roads are the lifeline of the state with that has a network of 39,475 km,” governor Bandaru Dattatreya said while presiding over the function. He credited the people of Himachal with overcoming challenges and achieving social and economic goals over five decades through their hard work and determination. “Himachalis have also preserved their cultural and religious identity that sets them apart from the rest of the country,” he said.
Union minister of state for finance and corporate affairs and Hamirpur BJP MP Anurag Thakur, who was present as a special guest, announced a bulk pharma drug park for the state. He paid tributes to leaders who contributed to making Himachal a model state and urged the chief minister to make a roadmap for the next 25 years.
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Terming the occasion an important milestone, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur remembered former prime minister Indira Gandhi and Parmar for their contribution in the formation of the state. “Parmar gave the vision and guidance to take Himachal on the path of progress,” he said before recalling the role of former chief ministers Shanta Kumar, Ram Lal Thakur, Virbhadra Singh and Prem Kumar Dhumal besides making a special mention of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
“If Himachal’s villages are connected with roads today, the credit goes to Vajpayee,” he said, adding that the industrial package and tunnel at Rohtang were also his contributions.
He said tourism would be the mainstay of the state for the next 50 years as the industry is growing rapidly. He admitted that air and rail connectivity remains the biggest challenge for the state and work is on in this direction.
Union minister Amit Shah, who was to be the chief guest, could not attend the celebrations virtually.