BJP’s Anil Baluni enters Rajya Sabha, promises ‘double engine’ growth | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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BJP’s Anil Baluni enters Rajya Sabha, promises ‘double engine’ growth

BJP national media chief Anil Baluni was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand on Thursday as no other contestant filed nomination

dehradun Updated: Mar 15, 2018 21:13 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
Chief Minister TS Rawat (C) welcomes Anil Baluni after he was elected to the Rajya Sabha.
Chief Minister TS Rawat (C) welcomes Anil Baluni after he was elected to the Rajya Sabha.(Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

BJP national media chief Anil Baluni was elected unopposed to Rajya Sabha from Uttarakhand on Thursday as no other contestant filed nomination. Immediately after being declared winner, Baluni said he would mobilise financial resources in a way that will substantially contribute to the resource-crunched state’s growth.

“I will mobilise financial resources in a manner that the funds that I will get as a member of the upper house would be fully utilised in propelling development in the resource-crunched hill state,” he said referring to the local area development (LAD) fund he is now entitled to as a parliamentarian.

“It may not be a big amount but if dovetailed with centrally funded and state run schemes, the MP LAD fund can help create a unique model of development,” he said when asked if ₹30 crore of the (MP LAD) fund a Rajya Sabha member receives in six years would help meet the growth requirements of the entire state.

Baluni, 44, would be administered the oath as a member of the upper house of parliament in the first week of April.

Originally from Pauri Garhwal, the mild mannered politician replaces the Congress’ Mahendra Singh Mahra.

Baluni said he would use his position as a Rajya Sabha member to boost growth in Uttarakhand -- the land of his birth and action.

“Our party is also ruling at the Centre that will definitely help me realise my vision for development for the state,” he said, adding that the position of the BJP national media head he was holding would also come in handy.

“When you hold that (party) post you also have an easy access to both state and central ministers and you keep meeting them on a routine basis,” Baluni said.

“So, it would be easy for me to resolve the issues facing a resource-crunched state like Uttarakhand.”

He said he planned to “change the way the MP LAD fund is spent” in building drainage, having the roads paved with bricks and building culverts or at the most irrigation channels in rural areas.

“These are the kinds of works which are carried out on a normal course and many a time such works remain incomplete,” Baluni said, adding that he now wanted to experiment with the MP LAD fund for a different purpose.

Elaborating, he said he wanted to utilise that (MP LAD) fund in a manner that he could contribute towards bringing about a change in the way people lead their lives.

Baluni, however, did not elaborate on the model of development he had envisioned for the mountain state.

“I will work on such a model for some time before I would start implementing it,” he said admitting that ₹5 crore of per annum MP LAD fund he would get as a Rajya Sabha member was too meager to bring about a state-wide holistic development.

“But the kind of schemes that are implemented at a micro-level by utilising the MP LAD fund can also be implemented at a macro-level . That is possible if you dovetail the MP LAD funds with funds being spent in implementing similar kinds of centrally funded and state run projects,” Baluni said.

“That means by pooling funds we can spend even ₹25 crore or more in a scheme or project instead of spending just ₹5 crore,” he said. “It will be a model other parliamentarians can also follow.”

Baluni said he would soon formulate the model he has envisioned. “I will spend the coming six years of my term in implementing that model,” he said, adding that he had therefore appealed to his supporters not to felicitate him.

“I have asked them not to put up my posters and hoardings on walls or streets,” Baluni said. “They can felicitate me at the end of my six- year term after I will have implemented the growth model I have envisioned.”