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ST status to Hatti community shouldn’t be a poll gimmick: HP Congress

CM Jai Ram Thakur has only inaugurated the developmental works which were initiated by six-time former CM Virbhadra Singh, said Pratibha Singh.

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

Himachal Pradesh Congress president Pratibha Singh, while welcoming the decision of the Centre to grant Schedule Tribe (ST) status to Hatti community, said on Friday that this should not turn out to be a political gimmick in view of the coming Assembly elections in the state.

Addressing media persons here on Friday, she said that the Congress party in the state under the leadership of her husband and then Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had time and again taken up the issue of granting ST status to the Hatti community with the successive Central governments.

“The decision of the Central government and the benefits to Hatti community are yet to see the light of the day, as it has to go to the Parliament for the constitutional amendment,” she said, expressing apprehension that the decision might have been taken with an eye on the coming assembly elections.

Taking a jibe on Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur for staking claim for the progress and development of the state under his leadership, she challenged him to enumerate five big achievements of his government.

Jai Ram Thakur government has only inaugurated the developmental works which had been initiated by the six-time former CM Virbhadra Singh, she claimed.

“The Congress has many achievements that it can take credit of, even though the works have been completed during the tenure of the BJP government,” she said.

The Atal Rohtang Tunnel work had started during the tenure of then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for this, she added.

Similarly, IIT, four medical colleges and many more projects have been possible thanks to the efforts of the previous Congress government, said Pratibha Singh.

Jai Ram Thakur had claimed of building an international airport in his home district Mandi, the work of which, however, has not even taken off, she charged.

The double-engine BJP government in the state has only misled the people of the state, she said, adding that the public are reeling under skyrocketing inflation.

The LPG that cost Rs 410 per cylinder during the UPA government is now costing Rs 1100, she said, claiming that even the Ujjwala scheme of the government has left the women helpless as they cannot think of refilling the cylinder again.