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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

All our CMs worked, Congress govts failed: Ajay Bhatt

The BJP state president doesn’t agree that growth has eluded the state but concurs that a lot is yet to be done given the challenges that come with a mountainous region

dehradun Updated: Nov 07, 2017 20:58 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Ajay Bhatt
Ajay Bhatt(HT)

The BJP state president doesn’t agree that growth has eluded the state but concurs that a lot is yet to be done given the challenges that come with a mountainous region. In an interview, Bhatt said that the chief minister has given a strong push for development since assuming charge and brushes aside all criticism about delivery failing to pick up pace.

How do you look at the state’s journey in the past 17 years in terms of growth?

I have no issues with the state’s development. I am fully satisfied. However, a lot is yet to be done in view of the challenges that go with a hill state.

What are the issues and challenges that you feel need to be tackled?

The biggest challenge is to check forced migration from the hills and the rural-urban migration. To resolve the problem, our government recently constituted a Rural Development and Migration Commission. Rail and road connectivity is being improved. About 70% roads have been upgraded to national highways. Work on the Chardham all-weather project and the Rishikesh-Karnprayag rail line project is already on. Their completion means a complete turnaround in the state’s tourism based economy. The PM has been closely monitoring the development schemes being implemented in Uttarakhand.

But social activists feel that the hill-centric development has eluded the people.

I won’t comment on the opinion of social activists. But the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (UKD) never raised that issue. It may now be a spent force but its leaders had supported the erstwhile BJP and Congress regimes. If they felt the regional issues were ignored, they should have objected. They raised no such objections. That clearly means regional aspirations were not at all ignored.

Statehood activists complain that basic health and education facilities have eluded all these years, which led to forced migration from the hills.

In a democratic set up, a state is run by political parties. People will have to differentiate the governments of which party — the BJP or the Congress — failed to work for development. All our chief ministers did something new. For instance, the erstwhile BJP government had introduced the 108 emergency mobile medical service for remote areas. It became defunct under the Congress regime. We recently released Rs 8 crore to revive emergency mobile medical service. We have also ensured that subsidised food is also available to the poor who had been completely left out under the previous regime. Similarly, it is the previous BJP government that had put a ceiling on the sale and purchase of agricultural land. The PM laid the foundation stones for reconstruction of Kedarnath that was ravaged by the floods in 2013.

Activists say development remained impeded owing to corruption among the politicians in power.

Blaming our leaders for corruption is highly objectionable. We have honest leaders like BC Khanduriji and Bhagat Singh Koshiyariji who have successfully served as chief ministers. Incumbent chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawa is also working for the state’s development efficiently and with utmost honesty.

First Published: Nov 07, 2017 20:58 IST

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