Justifying the cancellation of land allotted to the trust of Yoga Guru Ramdev in Solan district of Himachal Pradesh by the previous BJP government, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today alleged the land transfer was a "scandal" and that he had no personal enmity against him.
"I have no personal enmity with Ramdev. He is doing a good job as far as Yoga is concerned. But mixing politics is not acceptable. Land transferred to Patanjali Yogapeeth is a scandal by itself," the CM said at a press conference here.
Singh said that land in question belonged to the Patiala Royal family and it was given to a trust for setting up recreation and holiday facility. "This land will now be used for the purpose for it was meant," the Chief Minister said.
He alleged that the last five year rule of the Prem Kumar Dhumal-led BJP government has "damaged the reputation and prospects of the state. Large scale benami land transactions and other irregularities, including financial, took place during the previous rule."
The Chief Minister alleged that the BJP government "not only misused and mis-utilised the allocations and grants provided by the Central government, but also crossed all limits of corruption. The pace of development had come almost to a grinding halt."
He claimed that with every passing day "new scandals and skeletons of BJP misrule are coming out and it is a challenge for us to investigate these cases to get to the bottom of the scandals."
"Providing clean, effective, accountable and transparent administration to the people of the state is the prime objective of the state government," the Chief Minister said adding the resolve of the government is to make HP a fully developed state during its five year rule.
Virbhadra said, "The biggest challenge before us is to restore the hope and faith of the people in the government, which have been badly shattered by the previous regime."
Answering a question he said that the government had no proposal to give education to the private sector as the state cannot afford to have what he described as the "teaching shops."
"But at the same time I do realise the role of the private sector. Private players should be such who are genuinely interested. Teaching shops will not be allowed," Singh said.
The decision of the previous government to allow private sector in education and housing will be reviewed, the Chief Minister said.
Singh said that the state will also take steps to explore the vast potential of hydro power generation. "All the hurdles coming in the way of installation of hydro power projects will be removed," he said.
He said that the state has sought from the Centre 12 per cent share in three power projects of the Bhakra Beas Management Board located in the state.
"We are getting 7.19 per cent share as per the Punjab Reorganisation Act whereas we should be getting 12 per cent as per population which came to the state," he said.
He declined to make a comment on the reported statement of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh that he was not consulted by the Congress High Command regarding his removal and appointment of a successor. "The matter does not concern us," he told the questioner.
"I think this (removal and appointment of PCC Chief) is a decision to be taken by the party high command. Such decisions are taken by the party after due deliberations and it should not come as a surprise to anyone," Virbhadra added.
On the financial situation of the state, he said that it was comfortable. "For development we need capital investment which we will seek from the Centre, the World Bank and the ADB under various schemes," he said.