|Thursday, May 4, 2000,
Ram the only loser?
the only loser?
SHIMLA, May 3 Mr Sukh Ram is the only loser in the recent political developments and reshuffle of the ministry by the Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, as in the process he has not only got his Himachal Vikas Congress (HVC) split, but has also turned himself into an unwanted element in the ruling BJP-HVC coalition.
Fuming with anger, Mr Sukh Ram is now camping at Delhi to seek an audience with the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, and other senior leaders of the BJP to formally lodge a complaint against Mr Dhumal whom his loyalists are accusing of having played a major role in breaking his three-year-old outfit with whose support the BJP came to power in Himachal Pradesh.
Mr Dhumal has rejected the demand of Mr Sukh Ram to drop Mr Mohinder Singh from the cabinet where he was inducted as a nominee of the HVC. However, another humiliation was hurled on Mr Sukh Ram by retaining the powerful portfolio of PWD with Mr Mohinder Singh in the recent reshuffle.
Whatever further course Mr Sukh Ram adopts, but the fact is that he has extremely weakened his position in the political scene of the state. Although a section in the Congress was in favour of his return in the party, but the dominant group was deadly against the move.
Several HVC leaders, who were right hand men of Mr Sukh Ram a few days ago, have now started criticising him and accusing him of functioning like a dictator in the party.
The Rural Development Minister,Mr Prakash Chaudhary, who had won the Assembly election on HVC ticket, but later joined the BJP, has now become one of the biggest critic of Mr Sukh Ram by stating that the Dhumal government did not require his support for survival of his government. Another one time close lieutenant of Mr Sukh Ram, Mr O.P. Rattan, was thrashing him right and left by his statements everyday.
His other critics are claiming that because of his personal compulsions and the CBI cases of alleged corruption against him Mr Sukh Ram was not in a position to react and withdraw support to the BJP which also heads the government at the Centre.
It is being pointed out that Mr Sukh Ram has been, paid back in the same coin of splitting his own party in which he actively assisted Mr Dhumal in breaking the Congress.
On the other hand, BJP men claim that Mr Sukh Ram had never been sincere in the coalition and tried to squeeze the BJP on every occasion until Mr Dhumal acquired a majority of his own in the Assembly and no more required the crutches of the HVC to remain in power.
The flash point between the two coalition leaders came during the recent bye-elections for the Solan Assembly seat when Mr Sukh Ram fielded his own HVC candidate, but Mr Mohinder Singh announced his support for the BJP nominee. Mr Mohinder Singh was thereafter expelled from the HVC as this was listed as one of the major charges against him.
On the other hand, hardly anything has come out of the seven-day long drama of the resignations of the ministers, chairmen and vice-chairmen of the Dhumal government. Only cosmetic changes were made in the portfolios of some of the ministers, while none of the political appointees has been dropped in spite of the fact that lakhs of rupees were being spent on them even in the severe financial crisis. The wings of the HVC nominee in the ministry, Mr Ram Lal Markandey, have been clipped by snatching the rural development portfolio from him and assigning the insignificant department of animal husbandry to him.
Initially, there was
speculation of portfolios of some of the Shanta Kumar
loyalist ministers being changed in the reshuffle, but
that too did not happen reportedly because of resistance
by that faction. One of the minister of the Shanta Kumar
faction had reportedly threatened to resign in case his
portfolio was touched.
Board directed to pay Rs 1.05 lakh relief
DHARAMSALA, May 3 The Kangra District Consumer Redressal Forum, has directed the H.P. Housing Board, to pay Rs 1.05 lakh as compensation to Dr K.K. Parmar, who was given a defective plot, the area of which was further reduced by the creation of a new plot thereby changing the original site plan.
Dr K.K. Parmar, bought plot No. 52 from Dr V.K. Gupta, in the Housing Building Society at Palampur. The sole criteria for going in for the plot was that being a corner plot it was open from all sides. When the complainant started development of the plot he found that it was a heap of soft soil and he requested the Housing Board to clear the debris. His letter did hot receive any response and the Housing Board went to the extent of carving out a new plot 52 (A), after a gap of seven years and allotted it to a third party.
The complainant objected that this led to violation of the original site plan, leading to obstruction of light and air to his house. He contested that the customers buy land or houses constructed by the Housing board with the feeling that the original plan is never changed and they are entitled to all kinds of benefits like open space and proper air and light.
The court in its final order said that a defective plot (52), was provided to the complainant and his claim was rejected. The court observed that this amounted to deficiency in service along with the change in the original site plan, which decreased the area of plot No. 52.
The court ordered the Housing Board to pay a compensation of Rs one lakh to Dr Parmar, as he had to bear an additional expenditure of Rs 70,000 for raising foundation on account of being given a defective plot.
The Housing Board was
also directed not to create plot No. 52 (A), so as to
maintain the original site plan. An additional amount of
Rs 2,000 would be given to the complainant by the board
as litigation expenses.
dists 33 p.c. area wasteland
UNA, May 3 Workshop on operationalisation of watershed development projects and investment-promotional scheme in non-forest wasteland concluded here at Una yesterday. Mr K.K. Pant Deputy Commissioner Una, inaugurated the project. Delivering the key note address Dr S. Subramaniam, Director Technology Extension Department of Land Resources Ministry of Rural Development, New Delhi said that Himachal Pradesh had total area of 5.57 million hectares of which almost 56 per cent, 3.17 million was categorised as degraded wasted land. He said satellite imagery studies of Una district reveal that almost 33 per cent of total land of Una district was wasteland. He said total of 63.85 million hectares of the countrys land fell under this category which was neither cultivated, nor is a forest or used for any other productive activities.
Dr Subramaniam said the Investment Development Programme (DP) and wasteland development project schemes are steps to put vast resources to use and development had planned to increase rural infrastructure to provide villages with employment to check opportunities near their houses to check migration to cities.
He said as these
schemes, supported artificial recharge of ground water,
provide financial assistance to farmers for restoring
lost productivity and protect soil from erosion. He said,
while Integrated Wasteland Development Programme was
launched in 1975, Investment promotional scheme has also
been launched by which every general category beneficiary
will get 25 per cent subsidy for on farm development
activities. Farmers would get 30 per cent subsidy which
marginal and ST/SC farmers would get 50 per cent subsidy.
He said the promoters share in cultivation will be
25, 10 and 0 per cent for general, small and marginal
(Inder) stand vindicated
UNA, May 3 Mr Kushal Singh Raini, District General Secretary, in a press note issued here today said allegations of HVC leaders headed by Mr Inder Singh regarding detaining and obtaining signatures of Mr Dhani Ram Shandil, MP, on April 25 as seconder to proposal of expulsion of Mohinder Singh, PWD Minister from party for six years now stand proved.
He said Mr Shandil had now communicated to the Chief Election Commissioner and the Prime Minister that he was with the HVC led by Mr Inder Singh, President, and Mr O.P. Rattan, acting President.
He said that the proposal to expel Mr Mohinder Singh was moved by Mr Vijay Joshi, acting President of the HVC (Sukh Ram group) and was seconded by Mr Dhani Ram Shandil.
Mr Kushal Singh Raini said that the majority of office-bearers and workers of the HVC are with the HVC led by Mr Inder Singh and Mr O.P. Rattan.
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