Dismisses reports about a change of guard in the State
Dehra Dun: Dismissing speculation of a change of guard in Uttarakhand, Chief Minister B.C. Khanduri on Friday made it clear that he was firmly in the saddle saying he was “not going anywhere”.
“I am not going anywhere,” Mr. Khanduri told reporters amid media reports that he has been summoned by the party high command to New Delhi in the wake of the BJP’s debacle in the recent Lok Sabha elections. “These reports keep appearing. I don’t know from where they originate,” he said adding he would be staying in Dehra Dun to attend functions. “There is also a function on Saturday which I will be attending in Dehra Dun,” he said.
After the party’s rout, there had been intense speculation that the party high command was contemplating a leadership change in Uttarakhand.
Mr. Khanduri had also earlier said he had been asked by the party high command to continue in office.
A section of the ruling MLAs led by former Chief Minister Bhagat Singh Koshiyari have been pitching for Mr. Khanduri’s removal.
Meanwhile, Mr. Khanduri said he would soon take up with the Prime Minister the issue of extension of the industrial package announced in 2003 for a period of three years. “I will write a letter to the Prime Minister in a day or two seeking extension of the industrial package till 2013,” Mr. Khanduri said at an industrial meet organised by various industrial associations.
The Chief Minister added that he would take the help of Himachal Pradesh on the issue as the neighbouring State is also seeking extension of the industrial package.
Mr. Khanduri’s comments came after the bodies led by the Industries Association of Uttarakhand (IAU) demanded the extension of the package, which expires on March 31, 2010 till 2013.
The Chief Minister also accepted the various demands of the association and said his government would set up an industrial facilitation council as well as a single window system for an efficient way to solve problems of industries.
He also appealed to them to come forward and set up industries in the hills, taking the benefit of the government’s special integrated hill development policy. -- PTI