Congress criticises Khattar govt for rolling back decisions

Hitting out at Khattar government for rolling back some decisions of the previous regime, Congress on Saturday said it will launch a movement against the Haryana government for allegedly playing with the sentiments of the masses.

Chandigarh: Hitting out at Khattar government for rolling back some decisions of the previous regime, Congress on Saturday said it will launch a movement against the Haryana government for allegedly playing with the sentiments of the masses.

"It is a roll back government. Being in power for just a month, they have taken so many anti-people decisions that includes recent ones to reduce age of the government employees from 60 to 58 and hike VAT on diesel," Congress Legislature Party leader Kiran Choudhry said.

She was addressing a press conference here after HPCC's general body meeting.

Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmed, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar and party leader Asha Kumari were also present on the occasion.

Choudhary said they will raise voice against the "anti-people" decisions of the Manohar Lal Khattar government, both inside and outside the state assembly.

"The decision to hike VAT on diesel is anti-farmer, anti-people and inflationary. This decision will have a cascading effect on the prices of farm inputs and essential commodities and will deal a twin blow on the farmers, who are already reeling under unremunerative crop prices," Choudhary, the former minister, said.

She also hit out at the Khattar government for having allegedly failed to aptly tackle the "godman" Rampal issue.

"Khattar government's inexperience showed in this incident. They have started to fail on all fronts," she said.

"In its poll manifesto, the BJP had promised to increase the old age pension to Rs 2,000 (from Rs 1,000 during Cong rule), but they played with sentiments of the people and adding insult to the injury increased it only by Rs 200 while stating that they will hike it to Rs 2,000 in the fifth year. Why did the BJP not make this clear to the people earlier on," she asked.

Choudhary, MLA from Tosham, said Congress respects the verdict of the people which they gave in the October 15 assembly polls and will play the role of a "constructive opposition".

"We will not be reduced to anyone's 'B' team," she said in a veiled attack on main opposition INLD.

Replying to a question, she did not agree that Congress' state unit was faction ridden.

When her attention was drawn to former minister Ajay Singh Yadav not being able to complete his address at today's meeting as some Congress workers allegedly created ruckus, Choudhary evaded a direct reply, saying that her party was like a big family in which every one is entitled to put across his view point.

"We are prepared to launch a movement against this government, which is stabbing the people in its back and playing with their sentiments," Tanwar said.

Choudhary strongly condemned the recent incident outside Rampal's ashram in Barwala, in which many mediapersons sustained injuries after being allegedly attacked by the police.

Asked to comment on Ajay Singh Yadav not being able to speak in the ruckus, Hooda said, "he is a great man, sometimes he is happy, sometimes unhappy, what can I say..."

Yadav earlier told reporters that alleged regional bias and lopsided development were among the main reasons which led to Congress' debacle in the assembly polls.

He said that next time he will also come with an army of supporters who will shout in his favour.

Congress managed to win just 15 seats in the 90-member House.

Hooda was critical of the present state government's decision to rollback some of the decisions of the previous regime.

"Our cabinet had taken a decision to increase the old age pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,500 with effect from November 1 (2014). It is perhaps for the first time that any government has decided to reverse this decision (Cong lost the Oct 15 polls and Khattar govt hiked old age pension from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200, also announcing an yearly increase by Rs 200)," he said.

Hooda also hit out at the BJP government for claiming that the previous Congress regime had left the state in a "financial mess", daring them to issue a white paper on it.

"They accuse us of borrowing heavily. I want to clarify that any state can borrow up to 22 per cent of its GDP and during our time this figure stood at just 18 per cent whereas in Gujarat, this is at 22 per cent. We left Haryana in a strong financial position," he asserted.

On reducing the retirement age from 60 to 58, Hooda said the government was "befooling the public that this step was taken to create thousands of jobs for the youth".

"They stabbed the farmers in the back by increasing VAT on diesel. The way this government is proceeding, it appears that Haryana, which had emerged as a frontranking state during our time, may soon start to fall behind," Hooda claimed.

"They are finding excuses to rollback the pro-people decisions, just because they were taken by us. They are setting a bad precedent," he further said.

Hooda further said, "if they (BJP) are unable to run the affairs, let them hand it over (reins of power) to me and I will show them how we will implement all the decisions".

Meanwhile, to go into the reasons which led to the defeat of the party in the assembly polls, it was decided at the meeting to form adhoc committees at district level by the end of this year, which will then prepare their reports.

A signature campaign will also be launched soon against the decisions of the government, he said.