Two days after they quit the ruling Bharaitya Janata Party in Himachal Pradesh,rebels,led by four-time MP Maheshwar Singh,announced the formation of a new political outfit named Himachal Pradesh Lokhit Party (HPLP).
The rebels,who had earlier formed formed the Bhrastachar Mukti Morcha (forum against corruption) in 2011 within the party,also announced that it would contest the Assembly elections slated later this year.
The party aims to emerge as a third Front in the state and would make corruption one of its core agendas. Party spokesman Mohinder Sofat said that Maheshwar Singh has been appointed as the president of HPLP while other office bearers would be named soon.
The partys constitution,formation of its executive and core political agenda have already been finalised,Sofat added.
Maheshwar Singhs team includes former Speaker Radha Raman Shastri and two former ministers Shyama Sharma and Sofat. All three had also resigned from BJP.
Sofat,meanwhile,levelling allegations of corruption against BJP government,said that the party has completely sacrificed its principals. The party has no place for established, dedicated and honest leaders even though some like Maheshwar Singh and Shyama Sharma had put in 35 to 40 years, he added.
The spokesman also accused the Opposition Congress of hobnobbing with the BJP and said it has failed to perform its role and has instead turned out a friendly opposition.
Rebel action is loss to BJP
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Friday admitted that the resignations of BJP rebel leaders led by Maheshwar Singh would have some impact on the party but declined to comment on suggestions about efforts to bring them back to the party fold.
Addressing the media after attending the oath ceremony of Justice (Rtd) L S Panta,who took over as the new Lokayukta in Himachal,Dhumal said: If any organ of the human body get damages or chopped off naturally its bound to hurt and deprive you of something. On efforts to bring them back to the party,the chief minister added: This issue is only within the purview of the party High Command. Dhumal also urged the rebel BJP leaders to approach the Lokayukta to address their charges of corruption within the government.
The chief minister also categorically rejected the Congress demand for a white-paper on the states fiscal health asserting that its the Congress alone and not the BJP,that was responsible for all the ills in the state. The BJPs fiscal management has been prudent and no loans were raised. In fact,the Centre stopped the government from raising loans to the Rs 2,000 crore limit after it capped it at Rs 1,650 crore. he said.
Dhumal also accused the Centre of discrimination against Himachal Pradesh and said it withdrew an industrial package and denied help to pay revised salaries and allowances to government employees.