March 2019 \ Interviews \ POLITICAL INTERVIEW
“Confident of doing well in LS elections”

Facing the challenge of retaining all the four Lok Sabha seats, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur says he is not being dictated to by the RSS and that he enjoys a free hand to lead the party in the coming elections. For him, development work and no witch hunting is the mantra. “This accusation (of RSS remote controlling him) does not have an iota of truth.” Our central leadership has reposed full faith in me and has given a free hand to run the affairs in the state. The RSS is an apolitical nationalist organisation, which has nothing to do with state affairs,” Mr Thakur told IANS in an interview ...

By Vishal Gulati

The first-time Chief Minister, who has 11 ministers—half of them first-timers, believes the biggest achievement of his government has been winning over the confidence of the people.“The government from day one started working with a sole aim of development and welfare of the people. My government is working without any vendetta and vengeance towards our political opponents.” The state, he said, has implemented several decisions and schemes which are bound to transform the economy and the people.

“The Jan Manch (public meeting in every district headquarters on first Sunday of a month) programme launched by us has been appreciated even by our political opponents. Till date, over 33,966 grievances of the public have been redressed in 106 Jan Manchs. Similarly, the very first decision of the government to lower the age limit of senior citizens for availing old-age pension without any income criteria from 80 to 70 years have benefitted over 1.60 lakh people,” he said.

Mr Thakur, who rose through the ranks, believes establishing direct contact with the common masses will definitely help his party retaining four Lok Sabha seats in the ensuing General Elections.On the central leadership reposing faith in him and his first-time cabinet colleagues and bringing generation change in the state politics, he said: “Yes, I agree that the Vidhan Sabha elections results of 2017 brought in a generation change in the state politics. Since all my cabinet colleagues are young and have a new vision and new vigour, this would definitely help progress and development of the state.”