Pithoragarh, January 15
Political leaders in the Kumaon region have welcomed with reservation the decision of the Bahuguna government to set up a Vidhan Sabha bhavan at Gairsain as they suspect the Congress-led government will exploit the issue in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014.

“It is purely a political move to exploit the popular sentiments of the people as the Congress-led government has neither declared Gairsain as permanent nor summer capital of the state,” said KS Airy, a senior leader of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal (Panwar).
Airy said as the Bahuguna government was looking for land for a new Vidhan Sabha bhavan at Raipur in Dehradun, the decision to set up one Assembly building at Gairsain was merely a political gimmick. “We will applaud the decision only when the government gives the status of permanent capital of the state to Gairsain,” he added.
BJP leaders are also suspicious of the stand of the Bahuguna government on Gairsain and feel the Congress will encash the emotive issue in the forthcoming elections. “By laying the foundation stone of an Assembly building at Gairsain the Congress-led government has tried to exploit the emotive issue and it, in fact, wants to declare Dehradun as the permanent capital of the state,” said Suresh Joshi, state general secretary of the BJP.
Dr Meghraj Singh, president of the BSP state unit, has welcomed the decision of the government but cautioned it that the move may end up as a political gimmick. “The state government, which is running with our support, has taken the right step by deciding to have a Vidhan Sabha bhavan at Gairsain, but it will be beneficial for the state only if the Congress does not make it an election issue,” he said. Workers of the Congress on the other hand are supporting the decision. The party rank and file terms it as a historic decision which the BJP government failed to do during its tenure. “By laying the foundation stone of a Vidhan Sabha bhavan at Gairsain the Congress has realised the main purpose of the creation of a hill state. The BJP ignored it during its rule,” said MD Joshi, a Congress spokesman.

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