People angry at attempts to destabilise elected Himachal govt: Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu : The Tribune India

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People angry at attempts to destabilise elected Himachal govt: Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu

People angry at attempts to destabilise elected Himachal govt: Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu


The Tribune interview: Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, Chief Minister

Having survived the revolt in the party post the Congress defeat in the Rajya Sabha elections earlier this year, Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu is convinced that people of Himachal will punish BJP for its failed ‘Operation Lotus’ to destabilise a democratically elected government. He is criss-crossing the state to garner support not just for the four Lok Sabha candidates but more importantly for the Congress nominees for the six Assembly polls, whose victory is crucial to avert any further attempts to pull down his government. In an interview with Pratibha Chauhan, he asserts that this is a fight not for power but to save democracy and respect public mandate. Excerpts:

How do you view Congress’ prospects in the four Lok Sabha and six Assembly bypolls?

It is the electorate who will decide the outcome of this fight between ‘janbal and dhanbal’ as people have been witness to the BJP’s orchestrated political drama where six Congress and three Independent MLAs were kept confined to hotel rooms under CRPF security for one month to bring down our elected government. The Congress is getting very good response and sympathy, especially after witnessing the BJP’s yet another failed Operation Lotus, played out earlier in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Goa. Yeh ladai imandaari aur beimaaani, sach aur jhooth aur jantantra ko bachane ki hai, jisme hamari jeet hogi. We are not fighting election for power but for changing the system where a common man has a say.

BJP dismisses allegations of Operation Lotus by stating that your MLAs revolted against your leadership. Why blame them?

It was clearly a conspiracy hatched by the BJP to bring down our government as they have been doing elsewhere. If it was not BJP’s game plan then what was the need to keep the nine MLAs captive in five star hotels for a month, where even their family members were also not allowed. All six have been fielded by the BJP which is a clear proof of the saffron party’s hand in this plan or else why would they have given them party ticket, ignoring their own party loyalists and senior leaders. What is even more shocking is the insistence by three Independent MLAs to accept their resignation when they are free to support any party. This clearly shows that all nine had been enticed and lured by BJP.

Why BJP is hitting out at the Congress for ‘failed’ 10 guarantees?

The BJP is trying to mislead the public as we have already restored the old pension scheme, given Rs 1,500 monthly to women in Lahaul Spiti which would have been extended to entire state had it not been for the elections. We have launched Rajiv Gandh start-up scheme for employment generation, MSP on milk and organically produced wheat and rice, unlike any other state. We have been able to do all this despite the devastation caused by unprecedented monsoons last year. Moreover, the guarantees are for five years and we are committed to honour each one of them.

Do you feel that there will be more attempts by the BJP to bring down your government by wooing more Congress MLAs?

Seeing the plight of these nine MLAs, nobody will fall prey to BJP’s designs in future. The people are our biggest strength and electorate of Himachal does not appreciate conspiracy politics which was an attempt to defeat the public mandate, thus weakening democracy. The Congress government will complete five-year term to make HP self-reliant.

Do you feel you will get sympathy, especially in Hamirpur as they would want you as CM?

There is not an iota of doubt in this. People are angry at attempts by BJP to bring about the fall of a government having comfortable majority. This will prove to be the toughest election for Anurag Thakur, who is facing anti-incumbency. People have made up their mind to teach a lesson to traitors who went against the public mandate to join BJP.

What are the main poll planks of the Congress?

We are seeking votes on the development works that we have done in the last 15 months and the BJP’s attempt to destabilise our government. We have tried to provide succour to every section of society, be it women, youth, employees, farmers of daily wage workers despite devastation caused by monsoons. With thrust on strengthening rural economy, the MSP has been given on wheat, maize and milk. Creating employment avenues remains a major priority area so that educated youth get jobs, both in government and private sector. Compared to 20,000 jobs given by the BJP in five years, we are in the process of filling 22,000 posts, including 10,000 in the Jal Shakti Department, 6,500 posts of JBT and TGT teachers, 2,000 Van Mitras in Forest Department, 1,231 posts of police constable and 984 patwaris in Revenue Department.

We have taken several initiatives for women, including giving right to girls in ancestral property, Rs 3 lakh to single women and widows for making a house and Rs 1500 financial assistance to women.

#BJP #Congress #Rajya Sabha #Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu


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