No CM face in Himachal Pradesh, says Baghel; promises 300 units of free power

No CM face in Himachal Pradesh, says Baghel; promises 300 units of free power

shimla: In the run-up to elections, the opposition Congress has come-out with five promises for the people of Himachal Pradesh.

The party promised to provide 300 units of free power, implementation of OPS, five lakh jobs for youths and Rs 1,500 per month financial help to all women between 18 -60 years.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who is AICC observer for the elections, also announced a Rs 680 crore scheme to give interest free loans to youths for start-ups in all 68 assembly constituencies in Himachal Pradesh. Every constituency will have a fixed Rs 10 crore earmarked for this.

Baghel, who held a meeting with party MLAs and also PCC core group in Shimla said the Congress will not project any Chief Ministerial face in the state as per party traditions. "Only in the states where a sitting Chief Minister goes to the polls, is an obvious choice for leadership on formation of the government. However, the case of Himachal Pradesh is very different. The elections will be fought under the collective leadership," he told mediapersons in presence of all senior Congress leaders and MLAs — who were paraded at a press conference.

This was apparently aimed to send a message about unity in the party ranks and stiff infighting within the party camps. Baghel said all the leaders have been told to use utmost restraint in making contradictory statements in public during their meetings.No leader, he said, will make any policy statement, on the party's election promises.

Those present with him included PCC president Pratibha Singh, CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri, who is also leader of opposition, Sukhwinder Sukhu, party's election campaign incharge and senior leaders viz Kaul Singh Thakur, Ram Lal Thakur, Asha Kumari, Dhani Ram Shandil and AICC incharge Rajeev Shukla. Rajasthan Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot, who also attended the meeting at the party office, however, left early.

AICC spokesman Alka Lamba was conspicuous by her presence.

When asked why hasn't the apple issue made part of the five point agenda, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister said, "It will be certainly be there as we have separate plans to take-up issues of the farmers, especially apple producers of the state – an economy of Rs 5,000 crore, which the BJP government went upon destruction."

On Old Pension Scheme (OPS), he said, "Where there is a will, there is a way. Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh government has done it. How we implement it will be found very soon. New Congress government in Himachal Pradesh will replicate it," he declared.

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