DHARAMSHALA (shoppingmode HP), Nov 7: Holding the first Press Conference after the release of BJP’s election manifesto by its National President J P Nadda yesterday, Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh said, the BJP Government’s top priority in Himachal Pradesh in the next 5 year term will be women centric reforms and schemes. In addition, youth employment, StartUps and farmers will be the party’s main priorities, he added.
He said, BJP has a proven record of having fulfilled every promise made in each manifesto and those who mocked us for including abrogation of article 370 and Ram Mandir in our manifestos are also now compelled to believe that the BJP leadership fulfils each of its commitment at appropriate time and therefore the people trust us.
Dr Jitendra Singh accused the Congress governments in Himachal Pradesh of promoting their families and dynasties which resulted in perpetual neglect of women, youth, farmers and other sections of society. He said, while the Congress govt only gave preference to the empowerment and benefits of the members of the ruling families, the BJP government is reaching out to those who did not receive attention during the Congress rule.
Referring to BJP’s Manifesto “Sankalp Patra 2022” Dr Jitendra Singh told the journalists that 11 promises made in the manifesto as “Stree Shakti Sankalp” will not only give huge empowerment to women in the State but will also make them self-reliant (Atmanirbhar) and give them much needed dignity with security and financial independence. With the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre, only a BJP led government in the State can live up to this objective and, therefore, it is imperative to ensure the continuation of BJP rule in the State for the second term as well.
Dr Jitendra Singh told the journalists that the eleven promises made in the manifesto will lead to huge empowerment of women in the state. He said, the schemes like providing a bicycle for school-going girls of class 6th to 12th and a scooty (two-wheeler) to the girls pursuing higher education, three free LPG cylinders to women of poor households, amount of ₹25,000 to pregnant women for treatment are some of the steps which will make women independent, confident and secure.
He said, a fund with a corpus of ₹500 crores for granting interest-free loans to women entrepreneurs to establish homestays will be created and the women will be provided 33% reservation in government jobs and educational institutions of the state.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that when Narendra Modi took over as Prime Minister in 2014 and launched revolutionary women oriented schemes like Ujjawala, but these schemes could translate into reality fully in Himachal Pradesh only after the BJP government took over in the state in 2017. This was only after that, he said, over 1.37 lakhs families got the benefit of Ujjwala scheme while living up to the expectation of “Double Engine” Sarkar concept, the State govt supplemented “Mukhya Mantri Grahni Suvidha Yojana”, which benefited another 3 lakh families. In the next 5 years, he said, the daughters of BPL families will be given Rs.51,000/- as wedding expenses while under “Devi Annapurna Yojana”, poor women will be given three cooking gas cylinders free of cost.
Referring to the Party Manifesto released by BJP President J.P.Nadda , Dr Jitendra Singh said, makes a prominent mention of StartUps. Eight lakh employment opportunities in a phased manner will be provided to the youth of the State and the announcement of StartUp scheme with a corpus of ₹900 crores will supplement livelihood opportunities. He said, this is also vindication of the fact that PM Modi believes in technology driven livelihood opportunities.
Dr Jitendra Singh, welfare of the farmers was the topmost priority of the Modi Government and therefore BJP promised to institute in Himachal Pradesh a scheme to provide ₹3,000 annually to small farmers, over and above the ₹6,000 given through ‘PM Kisan Samman Nidhi’. Also, it will be ensured that the apple farmers do not pay more than 12% GST rate on apple packaging material, he added.
Dr Jitendra Singh recalled that it was Prime Minister Modi who, in his Independence Day address of 2015, gave a call for “StartUp India StandUp India”, which soon turned into a countrywide movement. The result of this is that now the number of StartUps in India has gone up from 300 to 400 in 2014 to more than 80,000 today and India ranks third in the world in StartUp ecosystem, he added.
However, the startup movements could not pick up in Himachal Pradesh in equal measures because the Congress govt at that time did not give much importance to this and weren instead more concerned about the youth of the ruling family rather than the common youth of Himachal Pradesh.
Dr Jitendra Singh pointed out that in the last week of October, Prime Minister launched Rozgar Mela – the recruitment drive for 10 lakh personnel and during the ceremony, appointment letters were handed over to 75,000 newly inducted appointees. He said, very soon his department will come out with the next instalment of appointment letters to meet the target of 10 lakh government jobs in next few months as all Ministries and Departments are working towards filling up existing vacancies against sanctioned posts in Mission Mode.
Dr Jitendra Singh gave the example of Aroma Mission in Jammu and Kashmir, which triggered a start-up boom in the UT for lavender cultivation and perfume entrepreneurship. He urged the Youth of the State to explore and innovate the vast untapped resources of the Himalayan State of Devbhoomi to create a chain of Agri-tech Start-ups. He said, the geography and climatic conditions in Himachal Pradesh favour the cultivation of medicinal and aromatic plants and these can be developed into Agri-tech and aromatic enterprises.
Referring to the inauguration of a Science Museum at Aspirational District of Chamba in October this year, Dr Jitendra Singh said, the state-of-art institution in this hilly region will inspire young children to discover their potentials and use their innovative skills to find a source of livelihood in later life.
Replying to promises made in manifesto and its implementation after coming to power, Dr Jitendra Singh one is free to pick the manifesto of the BJP and will find most of the promises fulfilled, be it scrapping of Article 370, Article 35a, giving citizenship to refugees or making Ram Temple at Ayodhya. He said, people were scared to touch them, but Modi has taken a stand on issues with clarity and resolved them.
Dr Jitendra Singh also apprised the Journalists that though PM Modi took charge in May, 2014, but most of the Central Schemes got speeded up after Jairam Thakur became the Chief Minister in December 2017. Citing the example of “Double Engine” working, the Minister said the BJP government in the State carried forward Modi’s scheme Ayushman Bharat in the State for which over 4 lakh people have got registered while the State government supplemented it with ‘Him Care’ scheme which has so far registered 5 lakh people. Similarly, Modi’s Ujjwala scheme reached 1.37 lakh people in the State while Mukhyamantri Grahni Yojana supplemented it by reaching 3 lakh households, he said.
On the questions of rebel candidates of BJP fighting election, Dr Jitendra Singh said, those who say so are possibly not aware of BJP’s working and its tradition as it is a cadre-based party, not controlled by any dynasty and here every Karyakarta is equal, which is why, whenever there is an election at any level, whether it is Panchayat or Legislative Assembly or Lok Sabha and whichever be the State, all the members of the party from top to bottom collectively join the campaign