SHIMLA Naresh Chauhan (<>),23.05.24-Industries Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan and Revenue Minister Jagat Singh Negi, in a joint statement here today, said that Prime Minister Narender Modi remembers Himachal Pradesh only during election periods. They say Modi misleads the public by talking about Himachali dishes like ‘Sepu Bari’ and ‘Madra’ during his visits, without demonstrating genuine concern for the state's issues. They said that if PM Modi truly cared about Himachal and its people, he would have visited during the last year’s catastrophic rains, the worst in the state's history, to check on the affected people and offer assistance. They said that over 550 people lost their lives and more than 22,000 families were impacted by the monsoon fury, yet the Prime Minister did not express condolences to the bereaved families nor did he address the suffering in Himachal Pradesh.
Chauhan and Negi stated that Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu repeatedly visited Delhi to meet the Prime Minister and Union ministers, demanding a special relief package for Himachal Pradesh. However, the union government did not provide any financial assistance to the 22,000 disaster-affected families. Instead, the state Congress government rehabilitated these families using its own resources, providing a special relief package of Rs 4500 crore, with no contribution from the Central Government.
The duo criticized the ten-year tenure of the BJP government at the Centre, claiming that the development of Himachal Pradesh was neglected and the people were betrayed by the promise of a "double engine government." As a result, Himachal Pradesh became mired in debt. They also said that in the last elections, Prime Minister Narender Modi promised to triple the import duty on apples but failed to do so. Instead, the import duty was reduced to 50 percent, causing significant losses for apple growers in Himachal Pradesh. Due to increased imports of foreign apples, local growers are not receiving fair prices and are suffering losses on their CA stored apples. They blamed the Central Government's policies for jeopardizing the state's Rs 5000 crore apple industry, leading to a loss of livelihood for thousands of families involved in apple farming.
Chauhan and Negi stated that Narender Modi is once again visiting Himachal Pradesh during election season and will likely mention Sepu Badi and Madra. However, they said it would have been better if he had come to understand the pain and suffering of the people during the disaster, soothed their wounds, and increased the import duty in the interest of apple growers. They said that while the people of Himachal Pradesh are innocent, but they will not be deceived by his statements this time. They said that Modi's words will have no impact, and all four Lok Sabha seats will go to the Congress party.