BJP top brass to meet PM on industrial package issue

Accusing the Centre of meting out step-motherly treatment to BJP-ruled states, Himachal CM today said he along with top party leaders would soon meet the PM to demand extension of the industrial package to his state.

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2010, 17:45 PM IST

New Delhi: Accusing the Centre of meting
out step-motherly treatment to BJP-ruled states, Himachal
Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today said he along
with top party leaders would soon meet the Prime Minister to
demand extension of the industrial package to his state.

"The industrial package for Himachal Pradesh and
Uttarakhand was withdrawn before its term ended. But it
continues for Jammu and Kashmir where Congress is sharing
power with National Conference," Dhumal said adding that such
"step-motherly" treatment to states ruled by non-UPA parties
could create "problems".

He said the issue came for discussion at the party`s
National Executive meet at Patna on Saturday and Sunday.

"Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will
coordinate the meeting with the PM where senior party leader L
K Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition
in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and possibly Uttarakhand Chief
Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal `Nishank` would also be present to
press for the extension of the industrial package," Dhumal
said.

The package provides sops to industries setting up
base in the state and helps in providing employment
opportunities to the youth.

Recently, Pokriyal and his cabinet colleagues had met
the Prime Minister to press for extension of the industrial
package.

To a question on whether union ministers from the
state Anand Sharma and Vir Bhadra Singh of Congress were
helping him in restoration of the package, he said Sharma has
"at least written a letter to the Prime Minister.

"Singh said he supports the package, but whether he
has written to the Prime Minister in this regard, I am not
aware," he said.

The industrial package for Himachal Pradesh,
Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir was introduced in 2002 by
the then NDA government led by Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

While the package was to end in 2013, Dhumal claimed
that it was withdrawn this year itself.

"A similar package was introduced for North-East in
1987 and was extended for another ten years in 2007. It still
continues for Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Dhumal said Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh work as
"lungs" of the country and provide water and hydel power to
neighbouring states. "Our youths are in the Army and Central
forces protecting the country. But when it comes to industrial
package to end unemployment, we get a biased treatment from
the Centre."

He claimed that if the Centre refuses to restore the
package, the people of the state will launch an agitation. "It
may include holding dharna outside Parliament House," he said.

PTI