"There is no BJP in half of the Country and the media campaign to create the wave has failed to penetrate into rural areas and as such the ground realities are different," the Union Minister of state for Parliamentary Affairs here said. As per reports, the BJP was incurring expenditure of crores of rupees in media campaigns, he said.
Congress would seek votes on the basis of achievements and performance of the UPA and the State government, he told mediapersons here, adding that the party will win all four Lok Sabha seats in the state. Trashing the claims made by Sanjay Baru, former media adviser to Prime minister Manmohan Singh, Shukla said it is nothing more than work of fiction, aimed at deriving commercial benefits and added that the claims made in the book are not based on facts.
"The PMO has already issued a statement in this regard but the timing of the release of the book suggests that there is some conspiracy to harm the Congress on the eve of election," he said. Referring to the controversial Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association issue, Shukla refused to make any comment, maintaining that the issue was sub-judice.
On holding of IPL matches in Himachal Pradesh, Shukla categorically said that the State government had not refused to provide security and said that he had himself talked to the chief minister Virbhadra Singh, who promptly said that "security would be provided within ten minutes". He said the IPL had to be shifted to Middle East countries due to polls and only five matches were left to be played in Punjab and Himachal.
Earlier, eight matches were to be played, including two in Himachal, but now there are only five matches left and these would be played in Punjab. There is no question of denying international matches to Himachal Pradesh and it would be allotted international matches in future, he said.
When asked about the non-payment of security charges by HPCA for matches played at Dharamsala, he said that the matter has to be sorted out by the State government and the HPCA. PTI PCL