HP Congress expects liberal financial assistance from Centre

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Shimla, Sep 22 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee (HPCC) Secretary Kuldeep Singh Rathore today said the party expected liberal financial grant to the state during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's forthcoming visit to the state.

Talking to the mediapersons here, he said rains have caused heavy damage to crops, agricultural land and private property in the state during the monsoon season.

''With the Prime Minister's visit due at the end of the month, the party expected the state's case be viewed sympathetically and liberal grants are made available to provide relief to the affected people,'' he said.

He denied that Mr Singh's visit was timed to boost the prospects of the Congress in the assembly elections due in February 08.

''The Prime Minister's visit has got nothing to do with the assembly elections, said Mr Rathore.

The PM is scheduled to address a public rally on September 30 after inaugurating an insurance scheme for the common man.

He said development would be the issue before the people in the assembly election and the state was recently applauded for having made strides in raising literacy levels and eradicating poverty.

''The people will not be fooled by BJPs false propaganda for it was the congress leadership which has made the state one of the best administered ones in the country. The states development indicators speak about the achievement it has made under successive congress governments,'' he said.

The state unit of the party was in election mode and conclave of the party's office bearers from the districts of Lahaul-Spiti, Mandi, Kullu and Bilaspur will be held in Mandi, next week.

The meet would be attended by AICC general secretary R K Dhawan, and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.

He said the Congress was in favour of holding elections to the three high altitude tribal assembly segments of Lahaul-Spiti, Kinnaur and Bharmour with the rest of the state.

''For holding them in Summer after conducting elections to the 65 other seats does give an unfair advantage to the party that gains power,'' he added.

UNI

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