Cong’s ‘united’ face: Virbhadra sets poll agenda,Sharma slams HP govt

In its first-ever attempt to put up an united face of the Congress on party president Sonia Gandhi’s orders,Union ministers Virbhadra Singh and Anand Sharma shared a common platform at the party’s Parviratan rally held in at Dharamsala on Thursday.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Shimla/dharamsala | Published:June 8, 2012 12:40 am

In its first-ever attempt to put up an “united face” of the Congress on party president Sonia Gandhi’s orders,Union ministers Virbhadra Singh and Anand Sharma shared a common platform at the party’s Parviratan rally held in at Dharamsala on Thursday.

The rally — which was also addressed by AICC general secretary Birender Singh,state party chief Kaul Singh and CLP leader Vidya Stokes — however,failed to draw crowds.

Though former Congress minister G S Bali proved his mettle by organising the event,it was Virbhadra Singh who stood out as he set an agenda for the party’s strategy for the upcoming Assembly polls.

Slamming the BJP government for alleged corruption,benami deals and illegal land transactions involving relatives of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal,Singh said: “The current BJP could be the most corrupt in the history of the state. The land alongside national highway 22 from Parwanoo to Narkanda has been sold and there could be a direct hand of the chief minister in these sales. Big chunks of lands in Himachal have also been sold through fake power of attorneys. It seems that the whole of Himachal is on sale.”

Singh also announced that the Congress,on its return to power,will order a probe into land allotments made to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. “Action will be taken against all those involved in the transfer of prime government land for building a five-star hotel at the site,which could be been used for a public purpose,” he added.

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma,on the other hand,chose to play a different role,as he spoke on the central government extending “liberal funding” to the Himachal Pradesh government.

While claiming that the Centre had given the state more than Rs 3,700 crore during the last four years under NREGS alone,Sharma said that despite this,the chief minister was accusing the UPA not providing funds to Himachal Pradesh. He also slammed BJP president Nitin Gadkari for appeasing Baba Ramdev by touching his feet.

Meanwhile,G S Bali,who also started his rathyatra on Thursday,declared that the Congress will return to power with two-third majority in the Assembly polls. “I will quit politics if proved wrong,’ he added.

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