The war of attrition between Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and PCC president Virbhadra Singh regarding the step-motherly treatment by the Centre towards the state seems to have no end in sight.
On Thursday,Virbhadra accused Dhumal of making baseless allegations against the Centre for alleged discrimination to distract public attention from the corruption and non-performance of the BJP government. He asserted that the government failed to mobilise resources including tax and no-tax income due to corruption. The funds provided by the centre under centrally funded schemes were either diverted or were not utilised, he added.
Virbhadra was reacting to comments made by Dhumal on September 5,who had posed nine questions to the Congress regarding neglect of the state by the Centre.
The PCC president – who was a Union Minister before he resigned in June 2012 – said the Centre had provided Rs 10,000 crore to the BJP government in the past four-and half year under various centrally funded schemes. The BJP government failed to avail Rs 4,000 crore under JNNURM as no detailed feasibility reports were prepared to seek the funds. It failed to utilise Rs 1,256 crore budgeted for development and thus surrendered the money, Virbhadra added.
Virbhadra said nearly Rs 1,500 crores were being provided by the Centre to Himachal Pradesh every year in addition to budgeted schemes. Funds for schemes like MNREGA,NRHM,ICDS,Mid-day meal,Sarva Shikha Abhiyan,Bharat Nirman covering every sector were not utilised by the BJP government. If they had the Centre would have provided more funding.
The Senior Congress leader claimed that Centre had always been liberal to Himachal Pradesh as it was a special category state. The Centre has provided Rs 44,000 crore to the state for development under various plans and if the non-plan funding is included it could increase to Rs 1,50,000 crore or more, he claimed.
The former chief minister said the BJP government had betrayed the people of the state and instead of levelling allegations of discrimination,Dhumal should accept his failure to utilise the funds and stop taking false credits for central schemes.