Dharamsala, April 15
With the Assembly elections in the state drawing closer, the demand for the creation of more districts out of Kangra has resurfaced. Congress MLA from Palampur Ashish Butail yesterday gave a memorandum to Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur during his visit to the area demanding the district status for Palampur subdivision.
- Both Congress and BJP are divided over the creation of small districts out of Kangra.
- The demand for the creation of new districts was first raised during the BJP government led by Prem Kumar Dhumal.
- Former CM Virbhadra Singh had rejected the idea
Butail said Palampur deserved to be a district due to the fact that there are an adequate number of tehsils associated with the subdivision and “the city now has a Municipal Corporation”. “All other municipal corporations in the state are at the district headquarters while only Palampur has the subdivisional status. I has requested the Chief Minister to accord the district status to Palampur,” he added.
Leaders across party lines have been demanding the district status for their subdivisions in Kangra district. Minister for Forests, Youth Affairs and Sports Rakesh Pathania has been demanding the district status for Nurpur subdivision.
Both Congress and BJP are divided over the creation of small districts out of Kangra. While the leaders in Palampur and Nurpur have been demanding the district status for their areas, the leaders of Kangra and Dharamsala regions are opposed to the idea.
The demand for the creation of new districts out of Kangra was first raised during the BJP government led by former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal from 2007 to 2012. However, at that time the senior BJP leaders from Kangra, including former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar and the then Kangra MP Rajan Sushant, had opposed the idea of division of Kangra. Many leaders had termed the move as an effort to finish the identity of Kangra, the biggest district of the state in terms of population and Assembly segments. Kangra district has about 25 per cent population of Himachal and 15 Assembly segments.
Former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh had rejected outrightly the idea of the division of Kangra district during his stint in power from 2012 to 2017. Kangra district has always been the centre of power in Himachal, as it is represented by 15 MLAs.