Dhumal in awe of Atalji, names schemes after him

Dhumal in awe of Atalji, names schemes after him

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee may have been out of active politics for almost eight years, but that has not dented Himachal Pradesh chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s devotion.

Regardless of Vajpayee's waning political importance, Dhumal is still signing in praise of his idol by naming scheme after scheme after him. In over four years at the helm, he has dedicated about a dozen schemes and projects to Vajpayee.

The Atal School Uniform Scheme that provides free school uniforms twice a year to all students from class 1 to 10 in state-run schools is the latest one.

At the launch of the school uniform scheme in Nahan town on May 9, Dhumal said, “Atalji has special love for the people of the state. We have launched various schemes in his honour.”

His government had earlier launched the Atal Bijli Bachat Yojna under which four CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) were provided to 1.65 million domestic electricity consumers free of cost with the provision that the defective bulbs would be replaced within 18 months.

In routine public addresses as well, Dhumal makes it a point to express his gratitude to Vajpayee who, as prime minister, provided all the support-- allocating central funds and projects -- to speed up development of the state.

“In the days of shifting loyalties, Dhumal continues to remain loyal to his mentor Atal,” a senior BJP leader said.

The Himachal chief minister had also announced Atal Adarsh Gram Panchayat Puruskar Yojna at this year’s budget session. He has also named scholarship schemes after the former prime minister.

“The government proposes to rationalise the existing scholarship schemes and launch the Atal Chhatrvriti Yojna in 2012 by substantially increasing the amount of scholarships available to children of BPL families studying in government schools,” the chief minister said.

On Vajpayee’s birthday in 2010, Dhumal launched a round-the-clock free ambulance service across the state.

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