Arun Jaitley launches veiled attack on Virbhadra Singh, says Congress govt in Himachal Pradesh is without credibility

Shimla: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday slammed the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh, saying it was without credibility.

"It was a government without credibility and remained under a cloud," Jaitley, who was here to release his BJP party's vision document for the state that will go to the polls on 9 November.

Without naming Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, he said it was the government to protect their near and dear ones.

Arun Jaitley launches veiled attack on Virbhadra Singh, says Congress govt in Himachal Pradesh is without credibility

File image of Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. AFP

"If the government is working to protect their self-survival, it's not possible to fulfil its promises."

Indirectly slamming the chief minister who remained at the helm despite framing of corruption charges against him and his family, Jaitley said, "For five years it was a fight for self-struggle."

Jaitley, who was accompanied by Union Health Minister JP Nadda, who belongs to this state, and former chief ministers Prem Kumar Dhumal and Shanta Kumar, said, "We are going to contest the elections with an aim to re-establish the credibility of the government."

Education, healthcare, transportation and employment are among the main focus areas in the vision document, he said the party, if comes to power in the state, would also focus on law and order as "there is a rise in cases".

Clarifying on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council's decision that businesses in the hill states with annual turnover below Rs 10 lakh would be out of the GST net, the finance minister said the hill states, including Himachal Pradesh, had asked for this limit. The threshold for the exemption in the rest of India is Rs 20 lakh per annum.

"It's on their (hill states) demand the council has given this benefit. Some states, including Jammu and Kashmir, have demanded Rs 20 lakh. Himachal Pradesh has asked for Rs 10 lakh. It's clear that the council has given options to the state."

"If the new government comes in and asks for Rs 20 lakh, the council will do it," he said.

Hitting back at the Congress over its leader P Chidambaram's remark on greater autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, Jaitley said the "position in regard to autonomy goes contrary to India's national interest" and questioned Chidambaram, who was also union home minister, over his timings for raising the issue.

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Updated Date: Oct 29, 2017 20:55:29 IST

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