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Gairsain to be declared summer capital, permanent tag will take time: Ajay Bhatt

Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt claims that chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s performance has been “excellent” on all parameters of development since he took over a year ago

dehradun Updated: Mar 17, 2018 21:19 IST
Deep Joshi
Deep Joshi
Hindustan Times
BJP Uttarakhand unit president Ajay Bhatt.(HT Photo)

Uttarakhand BJP president Ajay Bhatt claims that chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat’s performance has been “excellent” on all parameters of development since he took over a year ago. In an interview, he appreciates the CM for vigorously pursuing the party’s policy of zero tolerance for corruption.

It has been a year since chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat took over after the BJP’s landslide win in the 2017 assembly polls. How do you rate the way he is piloting the hill state?

Our government’s track record has been excellent on all fronts. If I am asked I will give the chief minister and his team full marks. All the promises pertaining to development our party made during the assembly polls are being fulfilled in a time-bound manner.

But the people say development is not visible on the ground…

They are not aware of the work being done by our government. We are trying to publicise the works being done in all sectors. Take, for instance, the right to service law. So far it had 162 services within its ambit but now an additional 312 services have been added.

But people complain that there has been no improvement in the health sector…The hills are still grappling with paucity of doctors…

We have appointed 600 additional doctors in the past one year…Similarly, nurses are also being appointed. We have equipped 35 main hospitals with tele-radiology facility. Besides, hospitals in remote areas like Agastyamuni, Bhikyasen, Naugaon, and Okhalkanda have been equipped with e-health facility.

Political observers say there has been hardly any improvement in the agriculture sector.

A lot has been done in that sector so that forced migration from the hills could be checked. We have decided to develop all 670 gram panchayats as growth centres. An action plan has been initiated with an aim to double the farmers’ income. Another action plan has been approved to develop Uttarakhand as an organic herbal state.

Prime Miniter Narendra Modi wants his pet Kedarnath reconstruction project to be completed at the earliest. The buzz is that he plans to launch the BJP’s campaign for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from there…

The Kedarpuri reconstruction project has got nothing to do with elections…Our government has also sanctioned Rs 40 crore for infrastructure development in Badrinath…Like this we are developing infrastructure in the entire Chardham religious circuit to boost tourism, be it the Chardham all-weather road project or the Rishikesh-Karnaprayag rail line project.

Your party had promised that the Lokayukta (anti-graft law) law would be enacted within 100 days of coming to power…

We had tabled the Lokayukta Bill in the assembly within a month of coming to power. Later, it was referred to the select committee and there was no note of dissent from the Congress. They remained silent when it was put up before the business advisory committee. However, I appreciate the anti-graft measures initiated by the chief minister. As a result, some 20 officials involved in the land fraud relating to the NH-74 scam have been jailed. We will not spare even the big fish, if found guilty. I appreciate the way the chief minister is walking the talk in keeping with our party’s policy of zero tolerance for corruption.

The general impression is that the BJP government is playing politics over the people’s long-pending demand for naming Gairsain as a permanent capital.

We will name Gairsain as a summer capital in keeping with our poll promise… The process is on to set up basic infrastructure there. It will take time before Gairsain will be named as a permanent capital as a full-fledged township is being set up there. The Congress never stated on record that it would name Gairsain as a summer capital.

Recently, a BJP legislator openly revolted against the chief minister. Similarly, there are reports that the majority of BJP workers are unhappy with the chief minister and the party high command as they are not being given the minister-level responsibilities.

We have some 10 lakh workers in our party. So, minister-level responsibilities can’t be given to all. Party workers will be appointed in constitutional posts whenever time comes.

First Published: Mar 17, 2018 21:19 IST