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Govt gets brickbats for not naming farmers’ scheme after Garhwali

Activists have lashed out at the state government for naming a scheme launched on Uttarakhand icon Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali’s death anniversary after Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya

dehradun Updated: Oct 02, 2017 19:51 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali,Uttarakhand icon
CM Trivendra Singh Rawat at a programme organised on the death anniversary of Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali in Pauri district on Sunday.(HT Photo)

Activists have lashed out at the state government for naming a scheme launched on Uttarakhand icon Veer Chandra Singh Garhwali’s death anniversary after Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, an ideologue of the ruling BJP.

Calling it “disrespect of Uttarakhandi sentiments”, they have demanded that the government renames the scheme after Garhwali, the famous Peshawar revolt hero and freedom fighter.

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat launched the ambitious ‘Pt Deen Dayal Upadhyaya cooperative farmers’ welfare scheme’ at Peethsain, Garhwali’s native place in Pauri district, on his death anniversary on October 1.

The scheme promises to offer easy loans of up to ₹1 lakh at barely 2% interest to small farmers.

The move, however, has not gone down well with activists working for hill culture’s promotion.

“What was the contribution of Pt Deen Dayal ji to our pahad (hills)? It is ironical that the scheme not named after Garhwali, even though the CM launched it on his death anniversary and from his native place,” activist Amit Gusain ‘Pahadi’ said, alleging that the “anti-hill move” was nothing but a move to “politicize” a scheme meant for farmers’ benefits.

Indresh Maikhuri, a leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) (Liberation), also criticised the government on the issue through a social media post.

CM’s media coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat, however, said that the scheme’s name had nothing to do with politics.

“It’s a very important scheme whose government order had already been issued in the past - it was just that it was launched from Garhwali’s village. There are already many schemes running on the names of Garhwali and other eminent Uttarakhand icons. It (not naming the scheme on Garhwali) does not mean disrespect to him, in fact, CM Sir laid the foundation stone of a memorial to be built on Garhwali,” he told HT.

It is not the first time activists have protested against the government’s “anti-hill” move.

During the rule of the erstwhile Congress government, they had opposed then chief minister Harish Rawat’s move to announce holidays for festivals celebrated by communities that are originally not native to Uttarakhand.

First Published: Oct 02, 2017 19:50 IST