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‘How come terror was out of agenda?’: Dhumal

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Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal
Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal

Special Correspondent

It ought to have been the first item before the National Integration Council, says Himachal Chief Minister

NEW DELHI: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal has slammed the Manmohan Singh government for not including terror on the agenda of the National Integration Council meeting held here on Monday. This showed its lack of seriousness to tackle the menace head-on, he charged.

Mr. Dhumal, who was in Delhi to take part in the meeting, said the country was rocked recently by bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Delhi but terrorism did not seem to be among the priorities of the UPA government. This was quite strange.

“I had even written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh protesting against the non-inclusion of terrorism on the NIC agenda. This should have been the first item,” he added.

Mr. Dhumal also accused the Centre of imposing its authority on States on various issues, violating the federal structure set-up. In his points made at the NIC meeting, he said it tended to treat education as a subject in the Central List and was centralising authority in medical and engineering education. Seats for native students were drastically reduced in professional colleges by the Centre recently. This affected the prospects of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minority students who were unable to compete at the national level for various reasons.

The Chief Minister accused the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to the hill State in development. It was a shame that only 33 km of rail line had been laid there since Independence, he said. An industrial package sanctioned by the NDA regime for the period till 2013 was curtailed up to 2007 by the UPA regime but was later extended to 2010.

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