By Lobsang Tenchoe
DHARAMSALA, Nov 1: Senior BJP leader and former minister Kishan Kapoor who is contesting for the Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly election, 2017 from Dharamsala constituency met and addressed the local Tibetans at Yongling School in McLeod Ganj yesterday.
Kishan Kapoor began his address by expressing his gratitude to His Holiness the Dalai Lama for making Dharamsala a tourist hub and applauded the bonhomie between the Tibetan and local Indian community in the region.
“With BJP led government at the Center under the leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, other countries started to take India seriously”, the senior BJP leader said and added, “Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Central government of India, unlike the previous government, has shifted its policy from being cautious and appeasing to being assertive with China.”
“The recent event of hoisting the Tibetan government’s flag at the Chinese border was witnessed for the first time under the BJP led government,” Kishan Kapoor said referring to the hoisting of Tibetan National flag by the President of the Central Tibetan Administration at Pangkong lake in Ladakh which borders China occupied Tibet.
“The Doklam standoff between India and China, where India stood up to China bullying its small neighbor Bhutan, has resulted in China having to retreat. The same could have happened with Tibet if Narendra Modi was the Prime Minister of India during the Chinese occupation of Tibet,” Kishan Kapoor stated.
“The Tibetan community who has been living in India for the past 60 years faces numerous problems and to address these problems, the present Government of India has issued a directive on May 15, 2017 and categorically stated to the state governments that the Tibetan refugees living in the Tibetan settlements and outside are entitled to all the development schemes of the Government of India as any Indian citizen. They also include schemes to extend scholarship benefits to Tibetan children,” Kishan Kapoor said.
The BJP candidate from Dharamsala constituency for the Himachal Pradesh assembly election further promised to pick up from where he left during his past tenure as Minister of the State and solve the traffic problem which often causes havoc in the hill town to boost tourism in the region. He concluded with assurances to bring in the best governance inspired and directed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring prosperity and development to the region.
The Election Commission of India granted voting rights to Tibetans in 2014. An estimation of around 1450 Tibetan voters, mainly from from Bir Tibetan settlement, will cast their vote in the Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly election for the first time.
The Himachal Pradesh legislative assembly election, 2017 will be held on Nov 9 to elect 68 members as the term of current Legislative Assembly ends on Jan 7, 2018.