Himachal Pradesh 2017

Corruption, law and order main issues in Himachal, says Dhumal

Former Himachal Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal during an interaction in Shimla.   | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

In a freewheeling conversation with Vikas Pathak, former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal says he has met people and addressed GST-related concerns of small businessmen. He says the announcement of the chief ministerial candidate is for the party high command to decide...

The BJP has not declared any Chief Ministerial candidate yet in Himachal Pradesh. So, do we expect an announcement now or will the BJP go into these polls without a Chief Ministerial candidate?

Certain things are not in my hands and not in my power. This is to be decided by the party high command. They will do the right thing at the right time. I think they will announce at the proper time.

Do you think the delay in declaration of the CM-candidate can adversely affect the prospects of the party, since you are an ex-Chief Minister.

I think it is for the high command to take a view.

What are the BJP’s prime campaign issues this time in Himachal Pradesh?

The main issues are corruption and the law and order situation in the state and the total halt of government works. The financial position is very bad. The state is in a very bad condition. It will take time to bring it on the rails again.

Your vision document has referred to GST and the Finance Minister said that the low exemption limit of ₹ 10-lakh for small traders was demanded by the state government itself. So, is this a sign of concern that GST may actually be adversely affecting small businessmen?

Not at all. Our well-wishers had come to me and they wanted to know our stand. First they wanted the composition fee to be raised from Rs. 75-lakh to 1-crore. It has been raised. They were mostly disturbed because of the monthly returns they were supposed to file. It has also been allowed to file quarterly returns. The third issue with the state as Mr. Jaitley also told us – I had promised that if other states had ₹ 20-lakh (the turnover up to which there is GST exemption), we will also raise it to Rs. 20-lakh if we come to power.

Much has been said by the BJP about corruption charges against the Chief Minister. So, why is that things have not reached a conclusive stage legally even three-and-a-half years after the BJP came to power at the Centre?

This shows that the NDA government never interferes with the working of the agencies. Secondly, the judicial system is there and about three-four days back the Supreme Court has rejected his appeal against the Delhi High Court. So, now I think the agencies will proceed accordingly.

There are unemployment concerns in the state, as people have told us. What is your view and what do you intend to do about this?

We are very clear that everybody cannot be provided government jobs. We said that we would create job opportunities in tourism and other sectors and also promote self-employment so that only job-seekers are not there and there are also job providers. Suppose somebody gets self-employed, he can employ three-four people around him.

It seems women have not been given adequate representation in terms of candidature.

We have (more than) double the number the Congress has. The Congress has given two; we have given six. Yes, we wanted to field some more women candidates but winnability being the main consideration and as different surveys brought out certain things, the number is comparatively less but as compared to the Congress it is better.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:27:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/himachal-pradesh-2017/corruption-law-and-order-main-issues-in-himachal-says-dhumal/article19948237.ece

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