CM’s winter sojourn in Kangra unlikely in February

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The winter sojourn of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in lower areas of the state is unlikely to happen in February too. This is the second consecutive year in which the winter sojourn of the Chief Minister in Kangra and other lower areas of Himachal has not been organised.

Busy in Delhi poll

  • Initially, the first phase of the Chief Minister’s sojourn in Kangra district was planned in January. However, he and his ministers became busy in the Delhi Assembly elections. They camped in Delhi for about a fortnight and returned to the state on February 7.

Sources said initially the first phase of the Chief Minister’s sojourn in Kangra district was planned in January. At that time, it was planned that he would spend at least a day in various Assembly constituencies of the district, and inaugurate and lay foundation stones of various developmental projects.

However, he and his ministers became busy in the Delhi Assembly elections. They camped in Delhi for about a fortnight and returned to the state on February 7. It was expected that the sojourn would be held a week before the Budget Session of the Himachal Assembly slated to begin on February 25. However, till date, just a day’s programme of the Chief Minister on February 10 has been announced. The sources told The Tribune that Thakur was unlikely to visit Kangra in February. He may go there during the break in the Budget Session in March.

Congress MLA from Palampur Ashish Butail, while talking to The Tribune, said that it is unfortunate that the winter sojourn had not been organised this year too. The practice was started by former Congress Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, he added.

Butail said that the former Chief Minister used to spend over a month in December or January in lower areas of the state. The people of the areas used the opportunity to put forth their grievances before the Chief Minister, who used get these addressed quickly.

Butail said that many schemes in his Palampur Assembly constituency were awaiting inauguration by the Chief Minister. “A primary health centre in the Maniara area is ready but the authorities are waiting for the Chief Minister to inaugurate it,” he added. Former minister and senior Congress leader GS Bali alleged that the state government was biased against Kangra. He said that not only had the winter sojourn been stopped, many development schemes had also been shifted from the area. “The Congress will soon launch an agitation to expose the anti-Kangra attitude of the government,” he added.