Dhumal takes exception to Virbhadra's statement

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Shimla, Apr 9 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today took exception to former chief minister Virbhadra Singh's yesterday's statement and said his government had set a precedent on the issue of development since the day it assumed office.

''My government had announced five per cent interim relief to the state government employees, made a provision of Rs 70 crore in the Budget for providing cheap rations during the last fiscal, increased wages of daily workers and social security pension,'' he told an informal news conference here.

Mr Dhumal was reacting to yesterday's statement by the former chief minister wherein he had termed the first 100 days of the BJP Government ''a period of bluff and bluster, tall and unsubstantiated claims''.

He refuted Mr Singh's statement that the BJP Government was claiming credit on the matters it did not make any contribution, saying that it had not increased a single paise of the social security pension during the last five year besides the wages of the daily workers.

''A person of his stature should in fact welcome the good decisions of the government instead of criticising its every decision,'' he added.

Remembering former state chief minister Thakur Ram Lal and former minister Jai Bihari Lal Khachi, he said they lauded the good deeds of the government, while being critical of it for its wrong and bad decisions.

''We did the same. We criticised the government's wrong decisions and welcomed the good ones when we were in the opposition. One should rise above petty politics and decide. Alas! not all can do the same,'' he said.

Mr Dhumal said a day after he assumed power in 2003, the former chief minister had levelled serious allegations against him and ordered raids, besides posting several IAS officers close to the BJP Government against the posts of the tehsildars.

However, the BJP Government had decided not to take notice of that person who was being ignored by his own party and high command, he added.

''Since he is being ignored by his own party and high command, he was issuing such statements to remain in the news.

We are working for the common good of al sections of the society and are trying to solve their problems, instead of wasting time on him,'' he said.

He said the innocent had nothing to worry as they would not be punished as the government had asked its officers to act objectively and without any bias against anyone.

UNI AS HS MMS1642

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