Decision on new districts only by consensus,says Dhumal

With the issue of new districts,particularly at Kangra,causing friction within the BJP,Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Wednesday said the government would try to evolve a consensus before taking a final decision on the creation of new districts in the state.

Written by Express News Service | Shimla | Published: July 5, 2012 12:31:13 am

With the issue of new districts,particularly at Kangra,causing friction within the BJP,Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Wednesday said the government would try to evolve a consensus before taking a final decision on the creation of new districts in the state.

He added that the committee on new districts has favoured the move but the government was not in a hurry to take an immediate decision . “ There are lots of people for the creation of new districts while a few are also opposed to the move. We will decide on the issue at an appropriate time after due deliberations,” Dhumal said. He,however,did not rule out the formation of a Mahasu district in Shimla —one that existed in the sixties.

On veteran BJP leader Shanta Kumar agreeing to address joint meetings,the chief minister said Shanta,being the most experienced BJP leader,would add weight to the party’s effort in seeking another mandate.

He rejected AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s charges of corruption and illegal land sales in Himachal Pradesh. “Rahul Gandhi addressed meetings here under a lot of tension because of infighting in the state Congress. He has been misled on the state’s issues. In fact,it’s the Congress regime that allowed the land mafia to thrive. Justice (retd) D P Sood’s report on benami land deals has exposed the Congress. Of the 61 sanctions under the HP Apartment Act,49 were granted by the Congress government. Again of 51 sanctions in Solan district,49 were during the Congress tenure,” Dhumal added.

On former union minister Virbhadra Singh reportedly threatening senior police officers,the chief minister said: “ Virbhadra Singh is setting an unhealthy trend by trying to brow-beat police officers,who have probed corruption cases against him. He (Virbhadra) should recall having opted for A P Singh,the IPS officer who actually had recommended the lodging of the FIR in the CD case after having found prima facie evidence”.

“I was surprised when Virbhadra called me at my residence and asked me to relieve A P Singh — knowing that he had recommended registration of the corruption FIR against the former union minister. As Virbhadra Singh insisted on this officer,I am surprised that the former chief minister is now issuing threats to the officer,instead of facing the trial court,” the chief minister added.

On land for Priyanka,Cm says Dignitaries can live here

On Priyanka Gandhi’s land near Shimla,on which,she reportedly proposes to build a cottage after having razed an earlier building there,Dhumal said: “ It’s the state government’s honour to permit such high dignitaries and persons of prominence to live here. But,this sanction was granted by the previous Congress regime. We (BJP) have no problem with it but will ensure that the land brought by Priyanka Gandhi is utilised for the purpose – ‘horticulture and residence’ – for which it was sanction. Moreover,as the land falls in a high security zone,near the President’s summer retreat at Chahrabra,where no construction is allowed,the government will ensure that no land and other violations are committed”.

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