Slew of schemes in Himachal named after Vajpayee

November 30th, 2008 - 12:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyShimla, Nov 29 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) may not be going to the general elections next year under the leadership of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, but his name still echoes in the hill state of Himachal Pradesh.Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal apparently sees the former prime minister as an ace up his sleeve and has been launching scheme after scheme in the name of the veteran BJP leader.

One of the schemes, Atal Bijli Bachat Yojana, under which compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) will be distributed to people was launched just last week.

At the launch of the power-saving scheme in Kullu town, Dhumal announced that this town had been specifically selected for Vajpayee’s house in Prini village is located near here.

“The hill state is indebted to Vajpayee who, as prime minister, provided all the support to speed up development here and approved some major projects like the multi-billion dollar Rohtang tunnel,” Dhumal said.

Ahead of the launch, Dhumal and his politician son Anurag Thakur called on Vajpayee in New Delhi to seek his blessings.

“The Dhumals made it a point to inform the veteran leader that the CFL scheme was being launched from his native Kullu district,” a senior official said, requesting anonymity.

The government also announced that the CFLs would be distributed among residents across the state by Dec 25, Vajpayee’s birthday.

In less than 24 hours of the launch of this scheme, Dhumal announced that an education hub would be set up near industrial town of Baddi. The Rs.145-crore hub, too, has been named after Vajpayee - Atal Shiksha Kunj - considering his pioneering work in the field of literacy.

“There is a lot of political colour attached to schemes launched by the government,” former chief minister Virbhadra Singh observed of the Congress.

“By rechristening the country’s premier mountaineering institute based at Manali as Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in August this year, the chief minister has expressed his gratitude to the former prime minister who considers Manali his second home,” he told IANS.

And when the chief minister is doing this, others are no exception. Following in Dhumal’s footsteps, senior minister Rajeev Bindal expressed his gratitude to the former prime minister at a public function held recently in Delhi.

He thanked Vajpayee for extending a special industrial package for the state to make it economically self-reliant.

The state’s industrial sector received a major boost in 2003 following the special package announced by the Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance government at the centre, he said.

“Vajpayee is surely the BJP’s idol in the hill state for which he has shown great love,” Bindal said.

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