Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Jairam Thakur on Monday said all decisions taken by the previous Congress government during the past three months would be reviewed and all “retired, tired and hired” officers, who were given service extensions or re-employed, would be given the boot.
The BJP on Monday submitted a document to Governor Acharya Devvrat, highlighting corruption charges against the Virbhadra Singh government and its ministers. Thakur said the government would approach the Vigilance department and Anti-corruption Bureau to probe specific charges against the former ministers.
However, Thakur, addressing his first press conference after being elected as BJP Legislature Party leader on Sunday, made it clear the government would not follow the path of political vendetta that the earlier Congress government resorted to during the past five months. Thakur said restoring the faith of the people in the government and addressing basic issues of the state would be his prime agenda.
“The previous Congress government did nothing to make use of the central funding and take advantage for the benefit of the state. This will be one of the major priority areas of the government,” he said. When questioned on the state’s fiscal health, Thakur admitted that it was going through a monetary crisis and blamed the Congress regime. “The state is passing through a grim financial crisis and the outgoing government is fully responsible for this. They did not nothing to increase financial resources of the state and burdened it with luxurious ways of spending. I am going to curb it and efforts will be made to minimise the VIP culture to cut down wasteful spending,” the 52-year-old leader said.
However, Thakur ruled out bringing out a white paper on the government’s finances and said there was a serious need to look into the issue and find the best solutions. Thakur, who won the elections from Seraj constituency in Mandi district, said after taking the oath of CM on December 27 he would review all the decisions taken by the Virbhadra Singh government in the run-up to the elections. “Retired officers who were given extensions and re-employed won’t be allowed to continue,” he said.
One of the thorns in the previous Congress government was the Kotkhai gangrape and murder of a 16-year-old schoolgirl. The incident had led to a massive uproar in the state as protests fanned out across the hill state. Speaking on the issue, Thakur said, “The Kotkhai incident has come as blot on Himachal Pradesh’s face. Efforts will be made to get justice for the family of the victim. Though, the CBI is investigating the case, there have been reports that the Congress government did not cooperate with the agency. The BJP government will give CBI full support.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP chief Amit Shah will arrive in Shimla on December 27 to attend the swearing-in ceremony. All CMs and deputy CMs of BJP-ruled governments have also been invited. A source said till Monday evening, 10 CMs had already confirmed their presence for the ceremony. The function will be held at the Ridge at 11 am, he said. Asked about Dharamshala, which was made the second capital of the state, Thakur said “status quo will be maintained”.