Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee today held a press conference on Wednesday at its headquarters in Shimla and released the party manifesto for the election to the State Legislative Assembly.
Led by the six times Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, the Congress has made big and extremely tempting promises especially to the regular and contractual government employees and youth.
The Congress has tried to reach every sections of the society with its manifesto.
The Congress government, as usual, is promising ‘zero tolerance’ towards corruption and transparency through more use of information technology.
The party said that if it is elected by the public, then it would implement 4-9-14 pay scale to government employees. It has been a long pending demand of the employees, the party said.
Further, it assured regularization of the contractual employees in two years instead of current period of three years.
If elected to power, the Congress government assured the PAT, Para, Computer and other teachers of regularization.
The government has also promised to resume the pension benefits to the government employees recruited after 2003.
Daily wagers would be regularized after three years. Part time workers would become daily wagers after three years, said the Congress manifesto.
The age to avail the benefits of the old-age pension schemes, the age limit would be reduced to 75 years from current 80 years, said the manifesto. The citizens in the 60-75 age group would also receive social security pension.
Further, the Congress has promised that 5-10-15 percent pension allowance would be added to the basic pension.
On forming the government, the daily wage of the laborers would be increased to Rs. 350 from Rs. 210, said the manifesto.
The Congress has promised distribution of 50,000 laptops with 1 GB free data. It would include 35,000 meritorious students’ upto matriculation, 12,000 upto higher secondary, and 3,000 graduate students.
Under the Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Scholarship scheme, the government would make provisions to send 10 meritorious students belonging to the SC category to foreign countries for higher education.
The party said it would open a gym and a ground in every panchayat of the state to boost sports activities. Every district would be provided a mini stadium, library and sports academy, said the party manifesto.
Further, the Congress said it would decentralize the power structure to empower panchayats.
The eligibility criteria for unemployment allowance would be made more flexible and liberal, it said.
The unemployment allowance would be increased from Rs. 1000 to Rs. 1500. For disables, the allowance would be hiked to Rs. 2000 per month from current 1Rs. 1500, said the manifesto.
In last five years, the government has provided about 70,000 youths with employment in the government and public sectors, said the manifesto.
The government promised to provide employment to about 1, 50, 000 youths in next five years.
The government would expand the training courses offered under newly established Himachal Pradesh Kaushal Vikas Nigam to help youths fetch jobs in the private sector, said the manifesto.Highlights of the HP Congress Manifesto for 2017 Assembly PollsIt would enhance the pace with which the public services are provided.
Other Highlights of the HP Congress Manifesto for 2017 Assembly Polls
- Computerization of government departments
- Simplified procedures for businesses and industries
- The government would appeal the Centre for raising the GST slab for the state from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
- Would reduce the Vat on Petrol and Diesel
- Reduction of debt by checking unproductive expenditures and enhancing sources of the revenue
- Aid to registered youth clubs would receive funds and free sports kits.
- Special portals for senior citizens on the official websites of the government departments
- Construction of old age homes in all district headquarters along with recruitment of staff
- Special medical camps to provide free medical check-up and medicines to senior citizens
- Establishment of crèches and working women hostels in district and sub-divisional headquarters to facilitate working women
- The grant given to the widows for the marriage of their daughters would be increased to 1, 00, 000
- More women ITIs would be opened
- Helpline and mobile app to ensure women safety and quick reporting of crimes against women
- Infrastructure and grants to registered mahila mandals
- Would open more women police stations in all district headquarters
- The allowance to students availing facility of the coaching institutes belonging to the SC category under would be enhances upto 50 percent
- The implementation of the Forest Rights Act and swift delivery of community rights over forests.
- Improvement in the one-rank one-pension scheme to make it more effective
- Opening new schools, universities and model schools
- Free education upto graduation to all students belonging to the IRDP family
- Free vocational training to females
- Evaluation of CBCS RUSA system to fix the drawbacks
- Establishment of boarding schools in backwards areas
- Construction of toilets for girl students within six months
- Achieving 100 percent enrollment rate and zero drop-out rate within two years
- IT labs, free Wi-Fi facility for Colleges and higher secondary schools
- Free medical treatment and distribution of medicines
- Super-specialty wards in all districts
- Tele-medicine facility in remote areas that receive heavy snowfall
- 25 percent increase in the cadre of doctors, para-medical, and technical employees
- Free medical treatment to BPL families along with bearing additional expanses on the treatment
- Hike in the salaries of the doctors posted in backward and tribal areas
- Heli-ambulance for areas that receive heavy snowfall
- Implementation of the Factor-II to provide appropriate compensation in cases of land acquisition
- Motorable roads for all villages
- Improvement in quality of road work
- Connecting all district headquarters through four-lane roads
- Overhead bridges for public in cities and towns
- Completion of Bhanupalli-Bilaspur rail project
- Construction of the Baddi-Chandigarh Fast Rail Corridor
- Betterment of Pathankot-Joginder nagar and Kalka-Shimla rail lines
- Establishment of State Agriculture and Horticulture Commission to decide
- Measure to prevent crop damage by wild animals and monkeys
- 90 percent subsidy for fencing of the agricultural or horticultural land
- 90 percent subsidy on fertilizers, pesticides, and agricultural tools
- 90 percent subsidy on anti-hail nets
- Waiving off agricultural loans/intersts upto Rs. 1 lakh
- Nodal agency to ensure timely delivery of agricultural equipments, fertilizers and pesticides
- 90 percent subsidy on rain-harvesting infrastructure
- Implementation of Uniform Universal Carton policy
- Raising the demand of three-time increase on import duty on apple and to include apple to the WTO treaty
- Subsidy/financial aid for tubewells/borewells
- Establishment of more markets to save farmers from middle-men
- Formation of new Forest and Environment Policy
- Measure to ensure safety of forest guards and crimes related to the forest resources
- Formation of policy to eliminate monkey menace on agricultural lands
- Encouragement to eco-tourism
- Formation of high-level committee to analyise the causes of accidents and provide suggestions to make roads more safer
- Parking facility on districts, sub-divisional, tehsil, and sub-tehsil level
- Replacement of old HRTC buses with news ones
- Providing adequate budget for the pension fund of the retired employees
- Filling all vacant posts in the HRTC on priority bases
- Encouragement to tourism, home-stay scheme
- Parking facility at all tourist destinations
- Heli-taxi service in various tourist destinations of Himachal
- Expansion of the airports in Shimla, Gaggal, and Bhuntar
- Subsidy on the loans to youths for buying cabs
- Installing waste management plants
BJP leasing out Govt land in Shimla worth crores to RSS-linked organizations at a throwaway price: CPI(M)
Shimla: One day ahead of the Shimla Municipal Corporation’s meeting on June 29, Bhartiya Janata Party-led state government is facing criticism over the proposal to lease out government land to organizations associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at a throwaway rate.
At a time when the city needs land for public facilities like playgrounds for children, parking lots/complexes, community buildings etc., the government is being alleged of losing focus on the priorities.
The former Mayor of Shimla city and leader of the CPI(M), Sanjay Chauhan, on Thursday said the state government has decided to lease out two pieces of land owned by the HP Public Works Department worth crores to two of RSS’s organizations at a throwaway price, which is a complete misuse of the public property and resources, he said.
He said the current government has decided to lease out 22669.38 square meter land in Tutikandi in Shimla city to Matrivandana – an organization linked to the RSS.
Similarly, he further alleged, a piece of land measuring 257.15 square meters is being given to Vivekanand Kendra in Nabha at a throwaway price.
The government is rendering landless farmers homeless and snatching away their livelihood by evicting them from forest land and felling apple-laden trees, but at the same time, it is offering land to organizations which would use them to expand their propaganda, Chauhan said.
He further pointed out that the government has not provided even two Biswa piece of land to poverty-stricken, homeless families to build homes, however, it did decide to provide land worth crores in the middle of the city to the said organizations.
The party said the government is working on the direction of the RSS and deviating from its constitutional duties. The party has demanded a roll-back of these decisions at the earliest or to face public protests.
The land belongs to the people of Shimla and it must be utilized for their facilities instead of gifting it to organizations which are working to promote disharmony among the people.
Further, the SMC has proposed a hike in the honorarium given to the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Ward Councillors. A proposal to buy a new car for the Mayor is also on the list. The Deputy Mayor has also asked SMC to provide him with an official vehicle.
The SMC House is expected to witness a ruckus in tomorrow’s meeting as half a dozen of BJP’s Ward Councillors had demanded the removal of Mayor and Deputy Mayor following their failure to run the city efficiently.
Earlier, the Councillors had also submitted a written complaint regarding the duo to a minister. Some of them had even threatened to boycott the meeting if the demand was not met. However, no notice was served to move a dissolution motion.
A dozen of BJP Councillors demand removal of Kusum Sadrate as Mayor, warn of boycott
Shimla: The Shimla city is facing more neglect from the Municipal Corporation as it continues to be in a defunct state owing to the internal feud between the Ward Councilors and the current Mayor Kusum Sadrate and Deputy Mayor Rakesh Sharma.
The Mayor was seen running after the annoyed Councillors to save her seat while the Deputy Mayor has no say.
A couple of days ago, about 11 BJP Councilors had reportedly expressed their disappointment with the performance of the Mayor by submitting a written complaint to the government.
The Councillors have warned the government that they will boycott the upcoming monthly meeting of the SMC House if the Mayor and Deputy Mayor were not removed.
The Sadrate has completed one year in the office of the Mayor on June 20, which made the situation more awkward for the party.
In order to avert an embarrassment, the duo would have to make sure that majority of BJP Councillors attend this meeting.
The Councillors alleged the Mayor of displaying arbitrary attitude while conducting the business of the house. They also complained that majority of the developmental projects in their wards are either stuck or progressing at a snail’s pace.
The Councillors say they are not able to face the people of their respective wards, especially after what happened during the water-paucity.
Moreover, the Councillors were not happy with Mayor’s decision to leave the city for about a week to attend a conference in China amid an acute shortage of drinking water supply.
If that was not enough, she denied the suffering of the people by rejecting reports of a water-crisis situation in the town. According to the Mayor, the crisis was just a media hike and propaganda of the opposition.
At the same time, the Councillors are complaining that despite such clamour in the city, the Mayor is still not available even for them as she hardly stays at the office.
The Mayor reportedly joined the Chief Minister’s visit to Sawada while the Councillors were waiting for her to arrive at the office.
The Councillors said the Mayor is seen attending events or photo-shoots with Chief Minister or the Ministers, and rest of the time is spent in visits to the party office and Secretariat.
Further, these Councillors have been maintaining that the Mayor was not able to run the business of the MC House properly. The meetings of the House were not conducted regularly, and whenever they are conducted, there was hardly any time to debate the issues of the public interest. The last meeting did not last for even half-an-hour, said one of the offended Councilors.
Councillor Arti Chauhan has asked the Mayor to resign by taking moral responsibility of failure to fulfill the commitments made to the people before the elections.
Another Councillor said they had not elected Sadrate to enjoy tours and photo-shoots.
While the Mayor was in China, for the first time, Councillors and the Deputy Mayor of the ruling party had staged a walked out from a meeting when they were cornered by the opposition over the issue of failure to respond properly to the water crisis.
The rebel Councillors also expressed concern over degrading state of sanitation as the workers remained on strikes as many as four times during last one year. Further, the workers are now annoyed with the MC for its decision to out-source the door-to-door garbage collection in five Wards to a private contractor.
The Mayor, however, said she has done the best she could do. She showed faith in the government and her organization by denying news of revolt among the Councilors.
In the 34-member SMC, BJP had managed to grab power of the civic body for the first time in the elections held in 2017. While BJP has a support of 19 Councillors including two independent, Congress is not far behind at 14. The CPI (M) has one elected Councillor in the house too.
Earlier, the opposition Congress had almost convinced one of the BJP’s Councillor to support a motion to dissolve the MC and dethrone the Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Councillor was reportedly offered the Deputy Mayor’s chair as an incentive. The opposition had even taken signatures of 14 Councillors who were supporting the dissolution of SMC.
However, the party high command had somehow managed to silence this Councillor as well others protesting against the current Mayor. As it turned out, the situation has now become more complicated as the Councillors report no change in the attitude of the Mayor.
BJP MLA deceiving CM Jairam and people by re-laying foundation stones: Congress
Shimla: Ahead of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s Kotkhai visit on June 20, 2018, the elected legislator of Jubbal-Kotkhai constituency, Narendra Bragta, has been alleged of duping the Chief Minister as well as the public by re-laying foundation stones of the projects which were already sanctioned and the foundation stones of which were already laid.
It would be Chief Minister’s first visit after being elected in 2017 elections to the legislative assembly, and he is expected to lay foundation stones of various projects.
These allegations were labelled by the members of the Executive Committee of Congress in Jubbal-Nawar-Kotkhai division including the President Moti Lal Derta, Vice-President Ravindra Chauhan, and General Secretary Rakesh Chauhan in a joint media statement on Monday.
Not only this act of deception is denting the dignity of the CM’ chair but the people are also making fun of it.
The Committee has counted about six such projects, some of which are said to be in the list of foundation stone laying ceremonies in the constituency.
The Committee asked Bragta whether it is true or not that the foundations stone of the Kotkhai bus stand was laid on August 9, 2012, by the then-Transport Minister Mahendra Singh Thakur in his presence.
Similarly, the foundation stone of the Darkoti-Garavag irrigation scheme was already laid by then MLA Rohit Thakur in September 2017. The Committee pointed out that Himachal had received total funds of Rs. 338 crores and the Jubbal-Kotkhai constituency was given highest funds worth Rs. 63 crores for nine irrigation schemes. However, the current BJP government could not even complete the process of their tendering in last six months, said Congress.
The Committee further said the funds for the construction of an additional block of the State Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) in Kharapathar were also sanctioned in 2014 during the tenure of Congress government. The tender for the same was already awarded in November 2014, and BJP had played no role in it.
In 2008, Rs. 3 crores were sanctioned for the Saraswati Nagar stadium. These funds were, however, misused indiscriminately by near and dears of the MLA. Bragta had made claims of making it a world-class stadium, which did not happen, said the Committee, adding that all sports activities of the college were hit as the site of the proposed stadium remained in tatters until the previous MLA Rohit got another Rs. 35 lakh sanctioned to make it even.
Similarly, the Committee said, funds for the Pragtinagar Engineering College were also sanctioned during the previous Congress government in 2016-17 and the work was going on a war footing, and it does not make any sense to lay the foundation stone of such project.
These were the efforts to cover the failures of the government during last six months of its tenure while the people of the constituency still awaited deliverance of basic amenities, said the Committee.
Govt declares 7-days State Mourning, 2-days public holiday in Himachal
Book Review: ‘The Billionaire Raj: A Journey through India’s New Gilded Age’ by James Crabtree
Landslide on Shimla-Dhalli bypass hit apple trucks & traffic plan, road likely to remain closed for 2-3 days
HP High Court’s gift to daughters of freedom fighters on Independence Day
Lack of emergency in making emergency announcement troubles schoolchildren, parents
Watch: Student groups clash at Shimla’s Sanjauli College, 7 suspended
Sanjauli-Navbahar Cemetery road has become hub of drug addicts, says women group demanding regular police patrolling
Disturbing Ashwani Khad viral video is real, but fake for Govt (more clips)
Videos: 2 more die on Shrikhand Mahadev trek, hundreds stranded, Yatra called off
Too much of a good thing
Misc News/Press Release1 month ago
Gunfight in Naina Devi: One wanted criminal shot dead, 2 arrested
Campus Watch2 months ago
Nauni varsity’s UG entrance exam results declared
Misc News/Press Release2 months ago
HP. Treasury asks pensioners to submit Life Certificate by July 1, 2018
HW Community1 month ago
Story of Shimla youth who started with smoking charas at 17, ended up in jail at 22 as drug peddler
Campus Watch2 weeks ago
Watch: Student groups clash at Shimla’s Sanjauli College, 7 suspended
Misc News/Press Release2 months ago
Meet Himachal’s Virender who bagged silver for India in his first international boxing tournament
City Lifestyle2 months ago
A small initiative by bunch of creative people making a difference
Campus Watch1 month ago
Counselling for Nauni varsity’s self-financed UG seats held today, to be held for M Sc on July 17