Yes, mafias active & crime on rise in Himachal, are BJP ruled states doing any better?
Shimla: On Thursday, the star campaigner of the Bhartiya Janata Party for the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly Elections 2017, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressed a rally in Kangra district.
He said Himachal has become a land of mafias. There are five types of mafia in the state – forest mafia, mining mafia, drug mafia, tender mafia and transfer mafia.
He said the BJP would end all these mafias and eradicate corruption. Other campaigners like BJP chief Amit Shah and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath are consistently targeting the State Congress over the corruption charges against the Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh and his family.
Here, it is necessary to question the basis on which the BJP wants the people to trust on their promises. The simplest way is to compare BJP-ruled states with Himachal.
The safety of women is another major issue that the BJP is pitching repeatedly.The crimes against women are rising in Himachal, says BJP campaigner.
There are valid points in these allegations. The mafias are active and corruption is also evident from the condition of the public infrastructure like roads.
The Chief Minister had himself rebuked the Public Works Department for its nexus with the private contractors.
Over two dozen people had died and thousands of others were inflicted by the deadly jaundice outbreak in 2016. The reason was that the contractor was releasing untreated sewerage from the treatment plant. The plant was barely working despite receiving about 1.30 crores per year.
Shimla city suffered critical water-shortage just because the government did not maintain the supply pipes and a huge amount was lost in leakage only.
The solid waste management is in tatters. All major towns are grappling with mounting heaps of garbage. Shimla city witnessed no improvement in the working of the sanitation workers despite change in the power after MC elections held this year.
The horrific case of gangrape and murder of a 16-years-old girl in Kotkhai in July this year and the mysterious death of the forest guard Hoshiyar Singh in Karsog division in June raised the alarm over increasing corruption.
The shoddy probe conducted by the HP Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) and arrest of eight police officials including the Inspector General Zaidi put the faith of people in the government at stake.
It is true that these evils have taken larger forms in Himachal.
For instance, the sitting Congress MLA of Bilaspur Bambar Singh Thakur allegedly thrashed the DFO over encroachment on forest land. A few months later, he was heard allegedly insulting and threatening a senior doctor posted at the district hospital.
The MLA allegedly wanted the doctor to make manipulations in a disability certificate to please one of his supporters. A transfer to remote and tribal area was the ultimate threat that the MLA was allegedly using.
The General Secretary of HP Congress Committee, Ram Lal Thakur, had alleged him of carrying out illegal businesses including mining. Ram Lal had also demanded a CBI inquiry against Bambar Thakur.
The transfer of the young IPS Officer Gaurav Singh, also called Baddi’s Singham, verified increasing influence of the mining mafia and involvement of politicians and MLAs in patorinizing them.
The BJP has promised to eradicate this corruption and make the State a better place. However, on what basis the BJP is making these claims? Did the crime rate drop down in BJP-ruled states? Did crime against women witness any decline in these states?
A report published by the Fact Catcher in February 2017 said that the BJP-ruled states have higher rates. The report had also alleged that the BJP was trying to manipulate crime related data of Uttar Pradesh.
It does not make the Congress or Samajvadi Party any better.
The communalism already existed in the Indian society and the politicians had been making full of it.
However, during the three-year reign of the BJP communalism and religion have again come into lime-light upto such an extent that people were lynched by mobs. Now, the cows holds more value than human lives.
On the other hand, the big promises made by the Congress in its manifesto prove that the government employees are indeed the deciding vote-bank in Himachal. Transfer near home or to their desired region is one of the biggest temptations for the employees.
Transfer has always been the best way to deal with honest employees or those belonging to opposition.
The details of income and assets given in their affidavits filed by the contesting candidates of both major parties, the infighting for the tickets and shifting loyalty by swapping parties tell us that they are after power and wealth.
Why should we believe the BJP, Congress or any other parties when they are more or less the same behind the curtains?
As a matter of fact, HP BJP leaders in February had submitted a chargesheet with the office of the Governor. The party had level serious allegations against as much as 41 persons including the Congress MLAs, Ministers, Bureaucrats etc.
Anil Sharma, ex-minister, was also in this list. However, now BJP has inducted him and has forgotten the chargesheet.
Rest, the public had given PK Dhumal two chances to prove it is better than Congress. The point is to make these facts count on the polling day.
MP Anand Sharma’s Visit to Himachal Heats Up Politics After District Admin Cancels Two Inauguration Ceremonies
Shimla- Senior Congress leader and sitting MP Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma is on a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh from Tuesday. During his visit, Sharma was supposed to inaugurate two developmental projects in Shimla. But the District Administration of Shimla has postponed the inauguration of these developmental projects. Congress has termed it a politically motivated step. This sudden cancellation of pre-planned ceremonies on the day of Sharma’s arrival has charged up the political atmosphere in the State, especially in the Shimla district.
The District Administration has written to Anand Sharma informing him that the two developmental projects he was supposed to inaugurate during his four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh had some unfulfilled official formalities and other pending works. The Administration said the community hall in Kleston was yet to obtain approval for the map of the building from the Municipal Corporation of Shimla, while the work of installing transformers at the old age home in Mashobra was yet to be completed.
The reason behind this decision is said to be the allegations labelled by a former Ward Councilor and BJP leader Sanjeev Sood that the map of the community hall was yet to be approved by the Municipal Corporation of Shimla and forest clearance was also pending. These allegations had also appeared in the media.
The District Congress Committee, Shimla (U) has opened a front against the District Administration for this sudden cancellation of the inauguration of two developmental projects and staged protests on Tuesday.
The DCC Shimla (U) staged a silent protest in front of the statue of Gandhi at the Ridge Maidan. Later, the workers marched to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, to register their protest.
Jitender Chaudhary – the President of the Committee- alleged that this cancellation was deliberate and purely politically motivated. He said the projects were funded through MPLAD by Sharma. Chaudhary also alleged that BJP was trying to take undue credit for these projects.
He alleged that the District Administration had already approved these two events, but cancelled them just a day before the arrival of the MP.
Chaudhary warned that if the District Administration still didn’t permit the inauguration of these projects, the party will stage more aggressive and massive protests.
Further, Congress Legislatures would also raise this issue aggressively in the HP Government’s Budget Session 2022-23. Anand Sharma – a senior Congress leader, former Union Minister and incumbent Rajya Sabha MP – is on a four-day visit to Himachal Pradesh. This visit has attracted the attention of both ruling and opposition parties. Sharma’s term as an MP ends next month, and speculations are being made that he could return to the State politics. The demise of Virbhadra Singh, who was the face of the Indian National Congress in Himachal Prades, has left a void in state politics and within the party.
Considering the stature of Sharma, after Virbhadra Singh there is hardly any Congress leader who could outshine him. Following the demise of Virbhadra Singh, the INC has no face to present as its Chief Ministerial candidate and several Congress leaders wish to grab this opportunity to change the power structure of the party in the State. This speculated return of Sharma to the State politics ahead of the Assembly elections to be held by the end of this year would be a nightmare for such Congress leaders. Further, it could pose a challenge for the BJP as Sharma is capable of settling the Congress party’s in-fighting and uniting it for the elections.
Big Responsibility to RS Bali, Appointed as District Poll Observer for Punjab Polls
Shimla-Raghubir Singh Bali has been entrusted with a big responsibility in the upcoming Punjab Assembly elections. All India Congress Committee has appointed Bali as one of the INC’s observers (Pathankot) in the polls.
The INC has appointed a total of 27 observers in 23 districts of Punjab, and RS Bali is the first name on this list. He has been assigned the responsibility from the Pathankot district.
This is not the first time RS Bali has been given a major responsibility by the high command. Earlier, he was assigned a major role in the West Bengal Assembly polls.
Other than Bali, Sudhir Sharma, Rajender Rana, and Rajneesh Kimta has also been appointed as observers from different districts.
AAP Forms ‘Committee’ to Strengthen Party in Himachal, Satish Thakur Appointed Chairman
Shimla-Aam Adami Party in Himachal Pradesh has expedited the process of forming and setting its house in order. This is evident from the ‘gherao, of the Vidhan Sabha in Dharamshala, followed by a press conference in Shimla. AAP has already announced to contest the elections on all 68 assembly seats in Himachal Pradesh. Very recently, the party also announced that it would also contest elections on all seats in the elections to the Shimla Municipal Corporation to be held in 2022.
In the press conference, AAP had also alleged that the state government used unnecessary police force which left many of its protesting workers injured.
AAP has already launched its membership drive. Unemployment, inflation, free electricity etc. are some of the issues the party has picked to gain the attention of the people.
Considering the campaigning pattern in the poll-bound neighbouring state Punjab, expect a variety of sops to woo the diverse voter bank. The party would definitely try to sell the Delhi model for development in Himachal Pradesh too. “Himachal Pradesh generates electricity and supplies it to neighbouring states including Delhi. If Delhi could provide free electricity then why not Himachal,” AAP spokesperson said in a press conference. Further, what bothers most the opponent parties is what they call ‘freebies politics of AAP’.
On top of it, the transformation of the government educational institutes in Delhi could also appeal to the people who are over-burdened with the hefty fees of the private institutes. The academic environment and infrastructure of government schools, which is in tatters, has left parents with no choice but to opt for private schools. But it’s to be seen as to how AAP balances the caste equation and regional distribution of power, especially after the haphazard formation of a Commission for the ‘ General Category’ in the state.
Yesterday, AAP constituted a “Central Development Organization Committee” for Himachal Pradesh. The purpose of this Committee, AAP said, is to strengthen the party and approach as much population as possible.
Sachin Roy would be the State Co-Ordinator and Satish Thakur was given the responsibility as the Chairman of the Committee. The formation of the Committee follows recommendations given by the APP state-in-charge, Ratnesh Gupta.
Other nominated members include Tilak Thakur, Naresh Thakur, Uttam Chand, Suresh Negi, Chaman Sharma, Doctor Balwant Dhindsa, Abhishek Thakur, Adarsh Mehta, Ramesh Thakur, Lakshman Negi, Raj Thakur and Uday Dogra.
The AAP state-chief, Advocate Anoop Kesari, congratulated all the members for being entrusted with these responsibilities.