Himachal Pradesh elections 2017: Congress leader and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has chalked out his strategy for winning the next poll in the face of the toughest opposition from a rampant Narendra Modi led BJP – Congress has been losing polls one after another barring a few instances. And how is he looking to do it? Well, the Himachal Pradesh government has laid the foundation of 10 government colleges, two hydroelectric projects, more than 100 rural road projects, a dozen bridges, water supply schemes, institutional buildings, slum dwellers and more, as reported by The Indian Express.
Notably, these projects, do not include the ones jointly inaugurated with the Centre! On 13 September, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had launched 10 health projects mutually with Union Health Minister JP Nadda. Besides, this month, AIIMS in Bilaspur, IIIT in Una and steel processing plant in Khandrori was also launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as per the reports by IE.
Over 80 online projects have been launched by CM Virbhadra in Shimla. More than that, out of 10 government colleges, two colleges were already functional in September. Among the new projects launched, two hydroelectric projects of Rs-651-crore Unit-I of the 195MW Kashang project in Kinnaur district and the other a Rs-1,108-crore 110MW Sainj hydroelectric project in Kullu district are executed by Himachal Pradesh Power Corporation.
Chief Minister Virbhadra has travelled across the hill state as a part of tracking development and launching new projects. “While in Kullu, he had a list of 39 inaugurations and foundation stones in a single day. During his tours of Renuka and Shillai, the CM had 25 to 26 functions in a day. He announced several projects on the spot and these included the two-degree colleges,” said a close aide who was travelling with Virbhadra told IE.
Meanwhile, the opposition has accused CM Virbadhra of misleading people by making hollow announcements. “In the past five years, the CM has made close to 1,600 announcements, out of which 1,300 have seen no update or budget. Given this progress rate, the state has been negatively impacted and gone 10 years behind in terms of development,” said Anurag Thakur, BJP MP to IE.
Responding to Anurag Thakur, Virbhadra said, “I challenge him and also Dhumal (former chief minister P K Dhumal, Thakur’s father) to give me one example of a project launched without budget or sanction. If proved wrong, I will quit politics. Only those who don’t appreciate development tend to make such comments. Ask the people in far-flung areas how much they have benefited.”