Lahaul-Spiti Bypoll face-off: BJP rebel Markanda’s entry enlivens contest : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Lahaul-Spiti Bypoll face-off: BJP rebel Markanda’s entry enlivens contest

‘Opportunists calling shots in Congress’

Lahaul-Spiti Bypoll face-off: BJP rebel Markanda’s entry enlivens contest

Ravi Thakur,BJP



The presence of BJP rebel and former Minister Ram Lal Markanda in the tribal Assembly constituency of Lahaul Spiti, bordering China, has made the contest tough, especially for Congress rebel and now BJP candidate Ravi Thakur, who has won two elections earlier. Congress played a smart move by fielding Zila Parishad chairperson Anuradha Rana, who is a ground leader. The three candidates shared their vision for the constituency in an interview with Abhinav Vashisht

What compelled you to leave your party and defy the voter mandate?

It is not about ideology and manifesto any longer as the thrust is on professionalism and delivering. The Congress is on its way out across the country as opportunists are calling the shots while loyalists are being sidelined. The BJP is one of the best platforms to connect with the people. I joined the BJP to be accountable to the voters of Lahaul and ensure development.

What are the pressing issues in your segment?

The infrastructure of irrigation and drinking water needs to be improved. Horticulturists and agriculturists require support. Road infrastructure needs to be uplifted. Areas of renewable energy plants, solar plants and micro hydel projects must be explored. An airport and new heliports are of dire necessity.

What are the main poll issues?

Health, education, tourism, employment, economic development, environment conservation and civic issues like drinking water and waste management are the major issues.

What is the vision that you have for the constituency?

Irrigation and potable water facilities will be strengthened. Sewerage plants will be set up in Keylong, Udaipur and Kaza for improving waste management. Keylong hospital will be upgraded to 100-bed facility and colleges will be started in Kaza and Darcha. Religious tourism will be promoted while preserving the region’s natural environment.

‘Going against public mandate not acceptable to masses’

Anuradha Rana, Cong

Do you feel the revolt by six Congress MLAs was justified?

This sort of happening occurred for the first time in this tribal area. Going against the mandate of the voters is simply not acceptable to the masses. There is anguish amongst the masses due to this politics of opportunism. Such incidents defy the spirit of vibrant democracy and anti-defection law.

What are the most pressing issues in your segment which need to be addressed?

The ‘Nau Tod’ and Forest Rights Act are major issues. Water resources and availability of potable water are a matter of concern due to climatic changes and rapid melting of glaciers. Issues related to floods and natural disasters need to be addressed. Tourism growth is concentrated in a few areas which needs to be taken to other areas. Means to generate employment and economic development need to be explored.

What are the main poll issues?

People are looking for a change from the orthodox system. Masses have seen the functioning of previous leaders of the constituency with utter disappointment. I am the first woman tribal candidate of the district and a woman has been fielded after 52 years. I have been given the ticket because of my performance as a Zila Parishad chairperson.

What is the vision that you have for the constituency?

Efforts would be made to improve health and education facilities. An environment friendly sustainable model of tourism will be developed and equitable growth of tourism would be ensured in all areas. Development will be ensured at panchayat level for overall development of the district.

‘Saffron party preferred a turncoat to me’

Ram Lal Markanda, Independent

What compelled you to leave BJP?

I have won three elections, including twice on the BJP ticket. The BJP claims that it was the party of workers but a person, who had abused the BJP and its leaders in the past, was imposed upon the BJP cadres. The BJP falsely assured the ticket and later preferred a turncoat and an opportunist, which hurt me and angered people who compelled me to contest.

What are the main election issues?

There is the question of identity of Lahaul and there is a lot of interference by the outsiders in the politics of the tribal region. People fear that Kullu might become the centre of politics of Lahaul and it will be controlled by people who are far-fetched from reality. Ravi Thakur had made statements against reservation and the tribals believe that reservation is their right to ensure equitable growth.

What are the most pressing issues in your segment?

Tourism, agriculture, horticulture, health, education and adventure sports are pressing issues that need to be addressed. Unprecedented development is required in these spheres for growth of the region.

What is the vision that you have for the constituency?

The budget for the area will be restored. Tourism avenues and winter sports will be promoted. Subsidies would be revived in agriculture and horticulture. Overall development of the region would be ensured.

#BJP #China #Congress #Lahaul and Spiti


Top News

NEET-NET row: Government forms high-level panel under ex-ISRO chief to ensure fair conduct of exams

NEET-NET row: Government forms high-level panel under ex-ISRO chief to reform exam process, review NTA

The panel will evaluate existing data security processes and...

Anti-paper leak law for exams comes into effect amid NEET, UGC-NET row; jail term, fine upto Rs 10 lakh

Anti-paper leak law for exams comes into effect amid NEET, UGC-NET row; jail term, fine upto Rs 10 lakh

This comes amid the massive row over the alleged malpractice...


Cities

View All