ibune News Service
Dharamsala, October 16
Countering the Congress over the second capital status to Dharamsala, former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, responding to media queries in a press conference held here today, said the Congress had just issued a paper in the form of notification for the second capital.
He claimed that it was the BJP government that took real steps to make Dharamsala the second capital. The BJP got a new Secretariat constructed here with the provision of offices of all ministers. A new Circuit House was constructed to accommodate all ministers and officers during their stay in the city. A food and craft institute was also opened. A synthetic track was laid and SAI hostel was constructed during his stint, he said.
“I made it mandatory for one minister of Kangra to sit in the Dharamsala Secretariat and listen to grievances of people from the region,” the former CM said. The Congress did not do anything to utilise the Secretariat building for housing the offices of ministers when it was in power from 2012 to 2017. There was no fun in announcing a city as second capital when nothing was done on the ground, Dhumal said.
About the Congress announcement that the Dharamsala Secretariat employees would get allowances on a par with the Shimla Secretariat employees, Dhumal said the Congress had not given anything to employees. The BJP governments gave five or six pay commissions and five per cent interim relief to employees.
When asked that why the present BJP government has given up the practice of making a minister sit in the Secretariat, Dhumal said only the CM could comment on it. He said the government should consider making one minister sit in the Secretariat.
About the allegations of the Congress that Kangra was being discriminated against, Dhumal said it could be their propaganda.
When asked to list the achievements of the present government for Dharamsala, Dhumal said he could list only ‘ex-achievements as ex CM’.
“As per my knowledge, the biggest achievement of the present BJP government is that it has lowered the age for old age pension from 80 years to 70 years. About one lakh women have been given free LPG cylinders,” he said.
When asked if he was happy over the selection of candidate for Dharamsala bypoll, Dhumal said the decision of the party was final and nobody should question it. He addressed various election rallies in Dharamsala and campaigned for the party.