Dehra Dun, Oct 23: BJP state chief and former Chief Minister of Uttaranchal Bhagat Singh Koshyari today claimed the Centre's announcement of Rs 100 crore for Kumbh Mela as an election gimmick.
Referring to various announcements worth thousands of crore rupees, made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during his Uttaranchal visit recently, Mr Koshyari told mediapersons here that he was only reiterating the announcement already made by BJP led NDA Government during its tenure.
''The Congress led UPA government has just hijacked NDAs announcements and reiterating it as Assembly Election was nearing.
''If the announcements made by the Prime Minister would turn to reality before the elections, then only BJP would believe on his announcements'', he said adding it was all an election gimmick to fool the people, the Former Chief Minister further added that UPA Government has already inflicted injury on states' self-respect by not announcing any package for it at the CM Conclave at Naintal.
'' Now it is trying to mend its mistake,'' he added.
Critisising Congress government in the state for stopping advertisement of one news magazine from Haldwani district, for writing against the Congress CM Conclave, Mr Koshyari said it was a total violation of the Freedom of Press. He said the concerned magazine could have been be legally challenged if the government thought it has done wrong or could have approached Press Council of India. But by stopping the advertisement, the government was trying to intervene in the Freedom of Expression.
''Congress should not forget that in the year 1975 when the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi by imposing emergency tried to curb the freedom of press had to face the wrath of the public and in 1977 election they were thrown out of power,'' he said. ''Congress would face the same fate in Uttaranchal Assembly Election if they continue with their dictatorial attitude towards press,'' he added.
Lambasting the Congress government for its failure to provide employment to the youths as against its proclamation to provide 70 per cent reservation for local youth in all industrial units set up in Uttaranchal, Mr Koshyari said nothing happened in reality.
''There were less than 250 registered unemployed youth in the state in the year 2001, which has soared to more than 4.5 lakhs just in five years,'' he claimed.
Due to lack of firm policy, the industrial units were employing people on contract basis paying them meager amount, he lamented.
''BJP demands that contract system be ended and employment provided to the locals as per the norms,'' he asserted.