CM appeals to BJP to refrain from ''character assassination''

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Una, Dec 1 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today appealed to the state BJP to refrain from ''character assassination'' and making personal attacks against their rivals during campaigning.

Addressing mediapersons here, he said, while the Congress party believed in courtesy and politeness, the political traditions of the hill-state need to be maintained.

Mr Singh said the Congress crusade against corruption and nepotism would continue and their party had zero tolerance towards corruption.

Reacting to former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal's remarks that the CM's hurry in signing the hydel power MOUs during the election code of conduct smelt of corruption, he said it was a legal process.

The units have deposited upfront money to the tune of Rs 800 crore with the government and it was a legal binding of the latter to sign the MOUs.

Besides, deliberating about the development ushered in the state by the Congress Government during the last four and a half years, he said global tenders for four lane roads from Mehatpur to Dharamsala and from Theog to Dhamwari had been finalised and a Chinese firm would construct these with World Bank (WB) funding.

He added that a WB loan of Rs 900 crore and another Rs 400 crore of soft loan for infrastructure development had been finalised.

Reacting to a question on the BSP threat to the party, Mr Singh said this was not a new phenomenon in Himachal Pradesh.

The party, had been contesting for different posts for the last many years without a single win ever, he said.

''Since the party has neither any leadership nor any cadre here, the candidates in the fray are those, who have been rejected by the BJP or the Congress parties'', he added.

He said social engineering, as being talked about by the party, was not applicable in Himachal Pradesh adding, the social, literary and financial status of dalits and OBCs here was far better than in Uttar Pradesh.

UNI

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