Ahead of by-polls and assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh, Congress on Tuesday alleged that the economic growth in the state has contracted to 6.5 percent in the financial year 2020-21 under the Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government from 7.5 percent in 2017-18.

Speaking to reporters in Shimla, Harshwardhan Chauhan, State media in-charge, and Congress MLA said, “When the Congress party was in power in 2017, the GSDP (gross state domestic product) or the economic growth of Himachal Pradesh was 7.5 percent. In 2020-21, as per the data submitted by the state government, the state has clocked negative growth of 6.5 percent. At a time when the state is grappling with COVID-19, the people of the state are dealing with unemployment.”

He added, “The government is giving jobs to outsiders. In the recent days, as many as 16 JAs in the state Electricity Board are from different states while 18 people from outside states are employed in the PWD department.”

Chauhan also said, “According to the government data, around 28,000 jobs have been given in the state, of which 7, 000 are outsourced. The government is not providing employment for the youngsters of the state.”

He further added, “According to the NITI Aayog, in Himachal Pradesh, over 3 lakh people have not refilled it LPG gas under the Prime Minister Ujjwala Yojana. This means that the government has not made any arrangements for refilling LPG gas cylinder at a subsidized rate.”

His remarks come ahead of by-elections to be held in three Assembly seats and one Parliamentary seat in the state on October 30 and assembly polls scheduled to be held later next year. (ANI)