Khanduri protests against Centre's ''injustice'' to Uttarakhan

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New Delhi, Oct 9 (UNI) Accusing the Centre of non-cooperation in the industrial development of the state, Uttarakhand Chief Minister B C Khanduri today said the step-motherly treatment being given to the hill state by the UPA government would be one of his main planks in the coming Lok Sabha elections.

Maj Gen. Khanduri is the second Chief Minister of a BJP-ruled state in a week who has chosen the capital for attacking the Centre for non-cooperation. Earlier this week, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had made a similar outburst against the ruling UPA while talking to newspersons here.

The Uttarakhand Chief Minister said the previous NDA Government led by Mr Atal Bihari Vajpayee had given a 10-year industrial package to the state from 2003 to 2013, but when the UPA government came to power, it reduced the period till 2007, and it was only after strong protests by the state that it extended the peirod to 2010.

''For us development of the industry was vital as the hills had no industry at all, because of which people were facing unemployment, but I am pained to say that the Centre was not helping us at all but was rather obstructing in the industrial development of the state'' he said in an informal interaction with newspersons here.

This issue was certainly going to be raised in a big way in the coming Lok Sabha elections, said Mr Khanduri, adding that he had raised the matter several times with the Prime Minister and would write to him again.

Replying to a question about the withdrawal of some projects from the state, and the general impression being created that the state was not industry friendly, the Chief Minister said that entrepreneur would have to abide by the conditions on which they were given concessions.

One of condition was that the 70 per cent of the jobs in their units would go to locals, but they started outsourcing a large number of jobs and did not take that into account while earmarking jobs for the locals, he sought to point out.

To a question about some of the industrialists manufacturing out of the state, and doing only the packaging here, which obviouly did not create any jobs in the state, the Chief Minister said the state government had cancelled several licences in that connection.

''I cannot allow the industry to fool the people of this state,'' asserted Mr Khanduri.

While admitting that the efforts at industrialisation of the state had not delivered the desired result due to the very nature of the difficulties that a hill area places before the industry, Mr Khanduri, however, said his other priority was to check corruption, and the results had given him some cause for satisfaction.

He said corruption in the recruitment to government posts had been eliminated by the new system of examination introduced by his Government.

The new system was based on objective type tests, with interviews having been scrapped completely.

So far, 27000 recruitments have been made after the new system was introduced, and fairness and objectivity of the selection process had sent out a very positive and definitive signal to the people, he said.

When asked about some of his colleagues complaining about his style of functinoing, Mr Khanduri said, ''every one has one's own way of working. Perhaps my weakness is my military background,'' hinting that he would have to be a hard taskmaster to achieve his objectives, which would obviously be not liked by some people.

He, however, added that he was open to any suggestion and dialogues to sort things out if anyone was feeling aggrieved by him.

Replying to a question on the Tatas going to Gujarat for Nano, he said said 'limited production' of the car will take place in Pantnagar, here the company was already manufacturing Ace mini trucks.

Tata Motors had shown keen interest in setting up Nano plant in Uttarakhand following the Singur episode, but due to unavailability of required land, the plant could not be shifted here, he said.


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