Dhumal to Sonia: What ‘unused’ Rs 10,000 cr are you talking about?

Expressing confidence of sweeping the Assembly polls with a two-third majority, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on Thursday accused AICC President Sonia Gandhi and other senior Congress leaders of distorting facts to mislead voters.

"I am writing to (Sonia) Gandhi about her allegations that central funds amounting Rs 10,000 crore were not utilised and remained unspent and crores of rupees under various centrally sponsored schemes were not spent by the state government", Dhumal, who returned to Shimla after a month-long campaign and polling, told reporters.

Refuting allegations of non-utilisation of central funds, Dhumal said that the state government spent Rs 11,615 crore during the eleventh five year plan (2007-2012) against allocation of Rs 11,400 crore and the expenditure under Rajiv Gandhi Vidyut Yojana (Accelerated Power Development Reforms Programme (APDRP)) was Rs 236 crore against an allocation of Rs 225 crore.

"Our expenditure under MNREGA and mid-day meal programme is 94.86 and 99 per cent respectively while the spending under National Rural Health Mission is Rs 482 crore against allocation of Rs 482 crore", the chief minister said, adding, "I want to know from Sonia Gandhi on what basis she concluded that a sum of Rs 10,000 crore was not spent".

He also chided Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma for making a false claim that the incentives under the central industrial package had not been withdrawn. "I wonder why the minister was talking about giving fresh incentives after 2013, if the package was not withdrawn," he asked.

Without naming him, Dhumal ridiculed former Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh over his statement that induction stoves caused cancer.

"The Kerala-based institute mentioned by a Congress leader to claim that induction heaters were dangerous for pregnant women doesn't even exist," he stated.

Dhumal claimed that the BJP government had established its credibility by working for welfare and benefit of all sections of society and fulfilling the poll promises and said this was the reason for "accomplishing mission repeat".

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