Dhumal optimistic about returning to power

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Thursday accused AICC president Sonia Gandhi of distorting facts to mislead voters.

Shimla: Expressing confidence of sweeping the Assembly polls with a two-third majority, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Thursday accused AICC president Sonia Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders of distorting facts to mislead voters.

"I am writing to Gandhi about her allegations that central funds amounting Rs 10,000 crore were not utilised and remained unspent and crores and crores of rupees under various centrally sponsored schemes were not spent by the state government", Dhumal told reporters here.

Refuting allegations of non-utilisation of central funds, the chief minister said that the state government spent Rs 16,615 crore during the eleventh five year plan (2007-2012) against allocation of Rs 11,400 crore and the expenditure under Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme (APDRP) was Rs 236 crore against an allocation of Rs 225 crore.

"Our expenditure under MNREGA and mid-day meal programme is 94.86 and 99 per cent respectively while the spending under National Rural Health Mission is Rs 482 crore against allocation of Rs 482 crore", he said, adding, "I want to know from Gandhi that under what head the sum of Rs 10,000 crore which she alleged was not spent".

He also chided Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma for making a false claim that the incentives under the central industrial package had not been withdrawn and ridiculed the statement of former Punjab chief minister Capt Amrinder Singh that Induction stoves caused cancer.

Dhumal claimed that the BJP government had established its credibility by working for welfare and benefit of all sections of society and fulfilling the poll promises and said this was the reason for "accomplishing mission repeat".

Referring to high voter turnout, the chief minister said that first time voters and women folk, affected by price rise voted overwhelmingly to express their anger and said that the issue of price rise dominated the poll campaign.

When asked about granting constitutional status to CBI, Dhumal said that it depends on who operates the system and even after constitutional status, CVC was being misused and CAG was under attack from Congress.

Replying to a question on talking rebels back into the party, Dhumal said whatever decision would be taken would be with mutual consent of the party and rebels.


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