Himachal Pradesh Congress chief Kuldeep Singh Rathore on Thursday reminded Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur of the letter written by him in which he had given the CM an ultimatum of 15 days for reinstalling the foundation stone plaque bearing the name of Congress president Sonia Gandhi at Atal tunnel at Rohtang.

He alleged that the plaque was removed when the Atal tunnel was inaugurated by Prime Minster Narendra Modi on 3 October.

Talking to media persons here, Rathore said after FIR was lodged by Congress units of Manali & Lahaul Spiti, the District Police Chief, Kullu has came out with the statement that the foundation plaque is in custody of mechanical workshop company SAJV which is working for/ under Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

He said the BRO has also mentioned that as soon as the orders are placed in their table the foundation stone will be placed as before.

Rathore asked the government to make it public that on whose orders this foundation stone was removed.

“The government should immediately place the foundation plaque as before,” he said.

He said the Congress did not want to make it a political issue, but if the plaque is not restored at the earliest, the government should be ready to deal with demonstration by Congress. “The government will be solely responsible for this stir,” he said.

The state Congress President criticized the state government and termed this entire episode as tampering with history.

“The removal of this foundation stone from its actual place is a violation of the dignity of democracy and completely immoral and unconventional,” he said.

Rathore said that the kind of politics BJP had been doing on the construction of Rohtang Tunnel was condemnable and reflected the poor mentality of the government.

Rathore said that instead of giving relief to the people during the Corona epidemic, the government is imposing inflation & price rise.

“The farmers are already suffering under the Modi rule on all accounts. While the recent black law is one, the Modi government is also extracting compound interest on the loans of farmers,” he said.

The Congress leader said Congress had demanded tax concessions from the government due to the Covid 19, but contrary to that the government is constantly issuing notices to people.

Rathore also expressed surprise at the arbitrariness of the cement companies in the state. He said the government has a clear soft corner for the cement industry in the state, going by the unprecedented price hike affected by the cement companies.

“ Cement is made in HP. However it is being sold at a higher price in HP and at cheaper rates in other states. It is a clear injustice to people of HP,” he said

Rathore said it was a matter of serious concern that Covid-19 cases in the state are increasing in Himachal. He accused the state government of not following Covid protocols properly.

“The Himachal government has seemingly left the people on God’s mercy in this pandemic. Even the system of thermal scanning & sanitisation is not being maintained in HP, which is sheer carelessness,” the state Congress President said.