BJP top brass to meet PM on industrial package issue
Accusing the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to BJP-ruled states, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Monday said he along with top party leaders would soon meet the Prime Minister to demand extension of the industrial package to his state.delhi Updated: Jun 14, 2010 17:10 IST
Accusing the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to BJP-ruled states, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Monday said he along with top party leaders would soon meet the Prime Minister to demand extension of the industrial package to his state.
"The industrial package for Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand was withdrawn before its term ended. But it continues for Jammu and Kashmir where Congress is sharing power with National Conference," Dhumal said adding that such "step-motherly" treatment to states ruled by non-UPA parties could create "problems".
He said the issue came for discussion at the party's National Executive meet at Patna on Saturday and Sunday.
"Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will coordinate the meeting with the PM where senior party leader L K Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and possibly Uttarakhand Chief Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' would also be present to press for the extension of the industrial package," Dhumal said.
The package provides sops to industries setting up base in the state and helps in providing employment opportunities to the youth.
Recently, Pokriyal and his cabinet colleagues had met the Prime Minister to press for extension of the industrial package.
To a question on whether union ministers from the state Anand Sharma and Vir Bhadra Singh of Congress were helping him in restoration of the package, he said Sharma has "at least written a letter to the Prime Minister.
"Singh said he supports the package, but whether he has written to the Prime Minister in this regard, I am not aware," he said.
The industrial package for Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir was introduced in 2002 by the then NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
While the package was to end in 2013, Dhumal claimed that it was withdrawn this year itself.
"A similar package was introduced for North-East in 1987 and was extended for another ten years in 2007. It still continues for Jammu and Kashmir," he said.
Dhumal said Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh work as "lungs" of the country and provide water and hydel power to neighbouring states. "Our youths are in the Army and central forces protecting the country. But when it comes to industrial package to end unemployment, we get a biased treatment from the Centre."
He claimed that if the Centre refuses to restore the package, the people of the state will launch an agitation.
"It may include holding dharna outside Parliament House," he said.
First Published: Jun 14, 2010 17:07 IST