Prem Kumar Dhumal, chief minister of the hill state of Himachal Pradesh, has been accused of being more than generous in giving away chunks of it, destroying pockets of natural beauty with ugly construction. He answers the charges in an interview to Chander Suta Dogra.
How do you explain the criticism your government has come under for permitting non-Himachalis to buy huge tracts of land in the state (under Section 118 of the Land Reforms & Tenancy Act, 1972).
If you look at the figures, the previous Congress government has given out more permissions than us: they gave 2,398 permissions, for 1,445 hectares; my government has given only 1,370 permissions, for 1,229 hectares.
But two wrongs do not make a right. You have given land to people like Priyanka Gandhi and Prashant Bhushan by bending the rules.
It’s a matter of pride for us that Priyanka Gandhi wants to live in HP. As for Bhushan’s trust, the land is for an educational society that...