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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Congress, BJP speak the same words: ‘We never promised permanent capital at Gairsain’

State BJP chief Ajay Bhatt denies that his party had promised commissioning Gairsain as Uttarakhand’s permanent capital

dehradun Updated: Mar 30, 2018 22:16 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
A view of Uttarakhand assembly building in Gairsain.
A view of Uttarakhand assembly building in Gairsain. (HT Photo)

State BJP chief Ajay Bhatt denies that his party had promised commissioning Gairsain as Uttarakhand’s permanent capital. The BJP, he says, had only promised that a summer capital would be set up there and work in that connection is on. On the other hand, state Congress chief Pritam Singh says Gairsain issue wouldn’t have remain unresolved had the BJP, that was ruling both at the Centre and in the state when it was carved out in 2000, named the town as permanent capital. The Congress never made any promise relating to summer capital, he adds.

Excerpts from an interview

Residents of Gairsain say both the BJP and the Congress have duped them on the issue of permanent capital…

Ajay Bhatt: We never promised that Gairsain would be commissioned as a permanent capital. When in Opposition, I raised the issue of a permanent capital and summer capital in the assembly four times but on all four occasions they (Congress) adjourned the House. We have for the first time mentioned in our vision document that efforts would be made to set up a summer capital at Gairsain. We are achieving success in our efforts as we organised a budget session for the first time. Funds have also been sanctioned for infrastructure development at Gairsain. We have not duped anyone.

Pritam Singh: Such a situation wouldn’t have arisen had the BJP that had then been ruling at the Centre, and also formed the government in state during its formation in 2000, named Gairsain as Uttarakhand’s permanent capital. It is our (Congress) government that built Vidhan Bhawan at Gairsain.

People of Gairsain say that they want it declared permanent capital and not the summer capital as promised by the BJP and the Congress.

Bhatt: It is their outlook. Whatever promise our party makes, it fulfills that…I have also recommended that Gairsain be commissioned as a district.

Singh: We never made any such (summer capital) promise when we were in power. The BJP has a three-fourth majority in the House, so it is well placed to take a call on the Gairsain issue.

Residents of Gairsain say that holding assembly sessions there is wastage of funds.

Bhatt: It is their outlook…We organised a budget session at Gairsain Vidhan Bhawan… as part of our efforts to develop the hill town as a summer capital.

Singh: People want a permanent capital at Gairsain. However, setting up the related infrastructure will take time. When we were in power, we made a beginning in that connection by setting up a Vidhan Bhawan and other related infrastructure in that town.

First Published: Mar 30, 2018 22:16 IST