HP CM confident of returning to power

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Shimla, Oct 11 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today exuded confidence that the Congress will return to power with more seats in the upcoming two-phase assembly elections in the state.

''We welcome the Election Commission's announcement. We are prepared for the elections and there will be peaceful polls in the state,'' he said in a release issued here from the US. Mr Singh is currently in Washington to secure funds from the World Bank and to seek investments from major corporations for the state.

The Chief Minister claimed that the Congress would form the governments both in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat with popular mandate from the people ''who are tired of parties trying to divide the society in the name of religion and regionalism''.

Without naming the BJP, he said these parties were the biggest security threat inside the country and advised the people to remain vigilant against these forces.

Reiterating his party's commitment for all-round development of the state, Mr Singh said,'' We will repeat the history and win the elections this time with a greater margin.'' ''The people of the state know which government will provide them electricity, schools, hospitals and roads in great numbers. They don't want to stop the current momentum of developmental work in the state and go backwards,'' he said.

The Chief Minister said the Congress was a united party and had a vision for Himachal. ''We have a development track record and commitment to make it a better place for everyone. We have provided a corruption-free administration and are successful in checking prices besides providing employment to a large number of unemployed in the state.'' UNI

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