No dissidence in BJP, says state party president

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Shimla, Jan 2 (UNI) Five days after the BJP was voted to power in Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections, it denied any dissidence within the party, asserting that ''it was united and will live up to the expectations of the people of the state''.

''There is no dissidence in the party, which had achieved a milestone by coming to power on its own in the state for the first time,'' party's state president Jairam Thakur said in his first press conference here after the party secured a clear majority in the assembly elections.

Replying to a question that a few dissident party leaders were meeting in New Delhi, he said no such activity was taking place and a ''few leaders sitting together can not be termed as dissidence''.

Mr Thakur said the party had achieved a milestone in coming to power on its own in the state for the first time and would now extend all support to the Prem Kumar Dhumal Government to ensure that promises made in its manifesto were fulfilled.

Referring to a question on the constitution of a co-ordination committee to act as a bridge between the party and the government, he said things would be clear by January 10 only.

The BJP leader said a large number of women and youth had voted against the previous Congress Government, which had failed in checking rise in the prices of essential commodities and providing employment to the youth.

The BJP's vote share in these elections had jumped by over eight per cent to 43.73 per cent from last 35.38 per cent recorded last time, he added.

Criticising former chief minister Virbhadra Singh's statement on his ''inexperience'' after he was named the party president, he said the same ''inexperienced state party leader has routed a very seasoned and an experienced Congress leader in the elections''.

Mr Thakur also lauded the new state government for increasing the wages of daily worker to Rs 100 and pension to the elderly, women and the handicapped to Rs 300 from the existing Rs 75 and Rs 200 respectively.

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