Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service
Shimla, July 31
Newly appointed Himachal BJP president Suresh Kashyap has ruled out any dissent among party MLAs following Cabinet expansion saying Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had tried to strike a regional and caste balance.
“The BJP has a strength of 44 MLAs in the 68-member Assembly and all of them can't be accommodated in the Cabinet. Still, there is no resentment or groupism in the party and sweeping victory in the Lok Sabha polls is an evidence of that,” said Kashyap, citing "personal reasons" for the absence of four MLAs from the BJP legislature party meeting held on Thursday.
Claiming no leader had been sidelined, Kashyap maintained that with state party president and a Cabinet minister from Sirmaur, the pace of developmental activities would be accelerated in the district, "which has remained backward during Congress regimes".
“All past presidents, including Rajiv Bindal, have contributed a lot to the party and my endeavor will be to carry forward the good works," he said in an interview with The Tribune.
Penetrating into every home from 'panna pramukh' would be the future course of action for the new BJP president, who has vowed to further strengthen and expand the party mass base with membership of over 18 lakh in Himachal.
"Mission Repeat" in the next Assembly elections and winning local bodies and panchayat elections would be the main focus and the party would take every one along, he said, maintaining no major changes would be made in the recently constituted state executive. However, some additions could be made, if need be.
When pointed out that Hamirpur district had been ignored in the Cabinet expansion, he said the district was represented at the Centre by Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur and presently four chairpersons were from the district.
Kashyap, who has been raising the issue of tribal status to Trans Giri area, said it was raised by him in Parliament too. Some objections were raised by the registrar general, which were being replied and the matter would be taken up vigorously after Covid-19 pandemic was over, he said.
The BJP would light lamps like Diwali on August 5 to celebrate tge foundation-laying ceremony of Ram temple in Ayodha by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. "It is a dream fulfilled for which people were waiting for several years," he said.
Lashing out at Congress leaders for accusing the government of inept handling of the pandemic, Kashyap clained the faction-ridden Congress was adopting double-standards. “When Himachalis were stranded outside, the Congress was alleging that nothing is being done to bring them back. When the initiative was taken to facilitate their return, they are cribbing that it has led to spurt in corona cases in the state," he said.
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