Staff Correspondent

Under fire over not including this in Governor's address

State has scrapped the State Administrative Tribunal meant for the employees

Ms. Stokes alleged that schools had no teachers and health centres no doctors

SHIMLA: The leader of Opposition in Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, Vidya Stokes, has criticised the State government for not including even a single mention of the grants given by the UPA government at Centre in the customary address of the Governor delivered on the opening day of budget session here. While initiating the debate on the motion of thanks on the Governor's address, she said the BJP was into the habit of taking credit of the works done by others.

Ms. Stokes ridiculed the shallow claims and publicity propaganda undertaken by the State government after a news magazine gave the title of a fast-mover State to Himachal in one of its surveys. She said the awards given by various magazines and news channels had become a drama nowadays and the nominations were directly proportional to the amount of publicity money donated by the said government.

She said the Himachal government was not doing anything concrete for the 48 lakh farmers and more than 3 lakh State government employees. The insurance scheme for farmers was initiated by the Union Government and the State had even scrapped the State Administrative Tribunal meant for the employees. Now, the government here was contemplating an arbitration Tribunal on the pattern followed by Gujarat State government, she said.

The State government, which is posing to be a big admirer and supporter of SCs and STs, had stopped giving them reservations in the government jobs, she alleged. She said there were no teachers in the schools and no doctors in the primary health institutions throughout the State. The liberal grant and permission given by the State government to various private universities would deprive the local farmers of their land and resources.

She also pulled up the State government on the corruption CD episodes. Calling it highly unfortunate, she said it was damaging the image of the people of the State. The partisan approach of the officials was all the more regrettable, she lamented.

Earlier, Shimla city MLA Suresh Bhardwaj while moving the motion said the State government had done some epochal workers in its short term of two years. He said the policy based developmental works had been undertaken by the BJP governments and that the Congress-ruled years lacked vision for long-term growth. He named policies concerning agriculture, horticulture, economy, education and health sectors in the hill State.

Gobind Thakur, BJP MLA who seconded the motion, said it was the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led BJP government here which had given 50 per cent reservations to the women in all Panchayati Raj Institutions and local bodies of the State.