Shimla, Sep 17

Leader of Opposition in Himachal Pradesh Assembly Mukesh Agnihotri urged the President of India for directions to the Union Government for stopping import of Apple affecting Rs 5000 Crore apple economy. Agnihotri was speaking on the occasion of special session of state assembly to celebrate the golden jubilee function of  state hood in the state assembly here today which was also attended by the President of India and Governor of Himachal Rajinder Kumar Arelkar.
Mukesh Agnihotri said that this assembly council of the chamber witnessed many historic occasions since this town was made the summer capital of Britishers. This central assembly passed the landmark law to provide voting rights to women in the world in this house.
He said that Ramnath Kovind became the third president of India who was addressing this august house as earlier to this in 2004 former Prez Abdul Kalam Azad and in 2013 Former Prez Pranab Mukharjee has addressed this house .
Leader of Opposition said that this hill state has taken greatest initiatives to protect the environment as Nationalisation of Forest was started in Himachal Pradesh in the time of Former Chief Minister Late Virbhadra Singh State had also introduce ban on green felling which is being followed till date however this hills state have got nothing in return from
the centre in lieu of sacrificing important revenue sources of forests.
Agnihotri said that one could not dream of the complete statehood and formation of this hill state without first chief minister Dr Y.S Parmar who along with other leaders raised the demand of forming hill states despite economic resources of the state were not enough to sustain this state economically. Soon after formation of this hill state they worked tirelessly to over come the economic hurdles
” I would request President of India to use this good office to have justice with Himachal Pradesh as state share in the Punjab Reorganisation Act and state shares in various power sectors were not paid to Himachal Pradesh despite the Supreme court had awarded thousands of Crores of rupees as the state share in Reorganization of the state’,” said the Cong leader.
” This day could not be possible without having Indian Prime Minister like Indira Gandhi as it was her will power who accepted the demands of Himachal people to declared it 18th state giving complete statehood in 1971 after passing the state reorganisation act 1971 however she also know that formation of this small states is not economically self-sustaining ” Congress leader said.
Agnihotri said that house is missing the one of most loved chief minister Virbhadra Singh who was also member of this assembly who worked tirelessly to develop this hill state in a very short span.
This assembly should be grateful to Singh as during the formation of the legislative assembly he had demanded increase in the number of assembly seats from 40 to 68.  Agnihotri said that this hill state has given brave soldiers to the country who gave their life for the cause of security and unity.
Former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal raised the demand before the erstwhile President Pranab Mukherjee to establish a Himachal Pradesh Regiment to increase the quota of requirement in the armed forces. However centre did not consider it the so far.
‘Congress leader said adding that  Ramnath Kovind being the commander in chief of Indian Armed forces may help state to set up a new Himachal Pradesh Regiment in the Indian Army to benefit the youth, including other hill states if not possible to name it Himachal Regiment it could be named as Himalayan regiment.
Agnihotri also sought expansion of Railway in the state stating that after the Independence there was massive expansion of Railway and transport services all over the Country but the hill states was ignored by every government to add the Railway infrastructure making injustice with the hill people.
Agnihotri said that Rs 5000 Crore apple economy in the state is today in crisis as the apple market is being crashed he demanded the President and Union Minister for information and Broadcasting and youth sports Anurag Thakur to help the state to stop import of foreign apple to protect the interests of state fruit growers.
Congress leader said that apple growers are not getting remunerative prices of their crops due to crashing of market.


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