In a letter to Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has strongly opposed the Centre’s move to withdraw para-military forces deployed at the state’s Chamba border, adjoining Jammu and Kashmir.
The chief minister told the media here on Wednesday that he has conveyed his concerns and has urged the Centre not to withdraw the forces until peace is permanently restored in Jammu and Kashmir. The Union government’s proposal will endanger the safety of Himachal, he added.
“Though Himachal Pradesh is a peaceful state, there are disturbances on the other side of the border. While Jammu and Kashmir is peaceful these days, we know some militant outfits are always active and could pose a threat,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, on whether his government would revive the state administrative tribunal, which had been scrapped by the BJP regime, Virbhadra said the government will seek the opinion of employees before it explores the possibility of reviving the body. “There are two different opinions. One is for revival of the SAT and some others feel that the present system should be continued. We will see the majority view first,” he said.
The chief minister also said that the Congress government was committed to forming a policy for the primary assistant teachers (PAT) and parent teacher association (PTA) teachers. “The BJP is now claiming that it had already formed a policy for PAT. Then why are all these teachers fighting cases in court?” he said.
Virbhadra also accused the BJP government of having played petty politics over the location of the Central University in Dharamsala. “We had got the central university sanctioned for Dharamsala from the Union government in 2007 and an IIT for Mandi. On coming to power, however, the previous Dhumal government divided the Central University: one a Dharamsala and another at Dehra, which over 45 kilometres away. The campus was taken to Dehra because it is part of Hamirpur Parliamentary constituency, which is represented by the former chief minister’s son Anurag Thakur. The BJP always talks of divisive policies, based on constituencies, regions, caste and creed. But the Congress is for overall development of the state,” Virbhadra said.
He added that the present dispensation cannot undo the construction at the two campuses of the Central University. “But we will definitely see that more construction is done on one campus depending