Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda Sunday promised state government employees pay parity with their counterparts in Punjab, if Congress is voted to power after assembly elections next year.
Addressing a public meeting at the start of the fifth leg of his ‘Jankranti Yatra’ from Mahendragarh in south Haryana, Hooda said the issue has been close to the heart of Congress.
He said an announcement on bringing pay parity between government employees of Haryana and Punjab was made at a rally in Panipat in 2014. “We even got a cabinet approval, but the people of Haryana had voted for change before the decision could be implemented,” he said.
“The BJP government too had made a promise to bring pay-parity with Punjab in their election manifesto but like the other 154 promises made by it, this too has been thrown in the dustbin. This and other issues have broken the morale of government employees,” Hooda said.
Hooda took out a roadshow from the Central university on the outskirts of Mahendragarh to the Sports Stadium on the other side of the town, before addressing the public meeting.
Repeating the promises made in his previous Jan Kranti Yatras, the former chief minister said Congress is committed to hike the old-age pension and cut power rates of all segments by half.
Attacking the BJP, Hooda said the ruling party’s politics is based on “lies, divisions and loot of public money” and added that “causing divisions in the society is the only thing they have accomplished in their four years in power”. “Our unity and social harmony is our biggest strength and I appeal to all sections to defeat divisive forces by staying united and maintain social harmony,” the former CM said.
Lauding Mahendragarh as the land of hard working farmers and brave soldiers, Hooda said the district has brought glory to the state. “The BJP made tall promises to farmers and soldiers before the elections and the people of the area handed over the reigns of power to them. It is sad that the BJP has not fulfilled any of the promises made to them,” he claimed.
Hooda said he left no stone unturned to bring all-round development to southern Haryana when Congress government headed by him was in power for ten years. “Mahendragarh and Bhiwani were added to the NCR, a central university was brought to Mahendragarh, the Indira Gandhi University was set-up in Rewari, a defence university was set up in Gurugram, a government engineering college was set up in Zainabad besides opening several ITIs across the region, opening the doors for education for the youth of the region.
“We brought the Hansi-Butana canal to the dry regions of Bhiwani, Rewari and Mahendragarh and started the Rewari-Jhajjar-Rohtak railway line to connect the region to the state capital. No other political party has anything to show as their contribution to the development of the region,” he claimed.
The former chief minister took on the INLD for their failure to develop southern Haryana and challenged them to list one development initiative during their six years of government from 1999 to 2004.
“INLD leaders criticize me in their meetings but never talk about their achievements because they have nothing to say. Far from bringing any development to the region, they opposed the construction of Hansi-Butana canal,” Hooda said.
Attacking the BJP over their failure on the development front, the former CM said far from bringing in new development projects, the BJP government has failed to even implement projects that were started when he was the chief minister.
“Our government had started an Ayurvedic College in the name of Baba Kheta Nath who was one of the leading saints of the region. The building was constructed during our term but this government has failed to start the college. I assure you that we will start the college once we come back to power,” he said.
“INLD and BJP are hand-in-glove. They did not vote against the BJP government in the no-confidence motion moved by the opposition in Lok Sabha while they voted with BJP in the recently-concluded elections for deputy chairmanship of Rajya Sabha,” he said.