The twin issues of Baglamukhi temple takeover and delay in completion of state highway from Dehra to Guler were the centre of discussion as Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and Union Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs Anurag Thakur shared the stage at Dehra in Kangra district yesterday.
Anurag demanded that the Baglamukhi temple be taken over by the government. Earlier, the demand was also made from the stage by the former minister and senior leader Ravinder Ravi.
Anurag’s demand in the presence of the CM came as a surprise for many. The minister said he had learnt that Rs3.5 crore grant was being given from the Asian Development Bank to the temple that was in private hands. The temple was already very rich and there was no logic in giving grants for it till the temple was taken over by the government.
A large number of politicians from the country and VVIPs visit the temple. Tantrik puja is believed to provide immediate relief and victory over enemies. The temple is being managed by a trust. Many influential people, including some MLAs, their kin and those close to corridors of power, are on board of the trust.
Anurag’s demand seemed to be directed at some political figures who are on the temple trust. The CM however, chose not to refer the temple issue in his speech.
Anurag also demanded that an inquiry be held into the construction of the Dehra-Ranital state highway. He said it was unfortunate that the road had not been constructed despite the Centre giving Rs10 crore for it under the Central Road Fund (CRF).
The CM acknowledged that there had been delay in the construction of the Dehra-Ranital road. He said an inquiry would be held into the construction of the road, the contract would be cancelled and new contract be given soon. Former minister Ravinder Ravi also demanded an inquiry into the construction of the road.
Political differences were obvious. The constituency was represented by independent MLA Hoshiar Singh, who is considered close of the CM. He is, however, at loggerheads with former minister Ravinder Ravi whom he defeated in the last Assembly elections.
Bitterness was obvious among leaders when Hoshiar Singh demanded that Anurag, being a Union minister, should help the state in getting more grants. Anurag replied by saying that the Centre was already giving 90 per cent share in all development projects being carried out in the state. Anurag also did not accompany the CM while inaugurating biomass project brought up by the family of MLA Hoshiar Singh.