Monkeys take lead roleMay 12th, 2009 | By Elections2009 | Category: Off-track
Suddenly, it is monkeys that have taken a lead role in Himachal Pradesh’s electoral campaign. The continued destruction of crops by the monkeys and their raids into villages over the last few years have become major election issues with the farmers fuming over the mounting damage.
The worst hit areas are Hamirpur, Bilaspur, Sirmour, Solan, Kangra, Mandi and Shimla, covering almost all the four Lok Sabha seats. The voters here have put up banners stating that those who address the problem would get their support. The elected representatives are also seized of the problem, but say measures to protect crops should go hand in hand with steps to protect wildlife. “There is a religious taboo against killing of monkeys. But we are going ahead with our action plan and control rooms have been established at Shimla and Hamirpur. We are also sterilising the monkeys on a war footing,” says Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
However, the Wildlife Institution of India has opposed sterilisation.