Committed to resolve permanent capital issue, says BJP; Congress walks out | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Committed to resolve permanent capital issue, says BJP; Congress walks out

The government on Wednesday assured the state assembly that it was committed to set up a permanent capital in Gairsain but the assurance failed to cut ice with the Congress that staged a walkout in protest

dehradun Updated: Mar 21, 2018 21:15 IST
Deep Joshi
The Congress accused the BJP government of keeping the crucial issue of a permanent capital in abeyance despite enjoying three-fourth majority in the state assembly.
The Congress accused the BJP government of keeping the crucial issue of a permanent capital in abeyance despite enjoying three-fourth majority in the state assembly. (HT Photo)

The government on Wednesday assured the state assembly that it was committed to set up a permanent capital in Gairsain but the assurance failed to cut ice with the Congress that staged a walkout in protest.

Replying to a debate in the House, finance minister Prakash Pant said the BJP government was committed to settle “all issues facing the hill state that are unresolved even 17 years after its formation”.

“We are also committed to resolve the permanent capital issue that has also remained unresolved all these years,” he said, adding that the BJP government though had initiated a series of steps to achieve that goal.

“We are relentlessly pursuing to resolve all the pending issues including that of a permanent capital,” Pant said.

He said the government’s decision to constitute Rural Development and Migration Commission was a part of its move to give a boost to development to check forced migration from the hills.

He was replying to a motion moved by Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh in favour of its demand that the BJP name Gairsain as a permanent capital on the floor of the House.

Speaking in favour of the motion, the Congress leader accused the BJP government of keeping the crucial issue of a permanent capital in abeyance despite enjoying three-fourth majority in the House.

Independent legislator Preetam Panwar, while participating in the debate, warned that any delay in naming Gairsain as a permanent capital in keeping with people’s sentiments would lead to a disastrous situation.

Any dillydallying on that issue would lead to a situation akin to the mid-1990s agitation for a separate hill state, in which some 42 statehood activists were either killed or maimed in different violent incidents, he said referring to the ongoing agitation for a permanent capital.

“This agitation can take a dangerous turn if a decision on a permanent capital is wished away now,” Panwar said. BJP state unit president Preetam Panwar said the issue of the state’s permanent capital should have been resolved with its formation in 2000.

He said permanent capitals of two other states ---Jharkhand and Chattisgarh that were carved out along with Uttarakhand 17 years ago had been commissioned with their formation itself.

“If a call on the state’s permanent capital is taken now in keeping with people’s aspirations, their agitation will take a dangerous turn,” he warned.