SHAHKOT, MAY 10,2018: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday lashed out at the Akalis and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for spreading a canard over the issue of school History books and urged the people of Shahkot to vote for the betterment of their area and the state.
The Akalis, led by the Badals, had failed to do anything for Punjab or its people during their 10-year rule, while AAP’s Sukhpal Singh Khaira was misleading people by spreading untruths instead of raising issues related to the welfare of the people, said the Chief Minister, addressing a mammoth public rally before accompanying Congress candidate for the Shahkot by-election, Hardev Singh Laddi, for the filing of his nomination papers.
Besides Captain Amarinder, others party stalwarts who accompanied Laddi to the SDM office were PPCC president Sunil Jakhar, AICC leaders Asha Kumari and Harish Choudhary, along with Rana Gurjit Singh, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, and Santokh Singh.
Speaking at the rally at Dana Mandi, the Chief Minister said he won’t talk big like SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal or Khaira but could assure the people of Shahkot of implementing all their genuine demands. Captain Amarinder said every vote for Laddi would be a vote for the future of Punjab as the Congress was the only party that could bring the state’s progress back on track and that believed in implementing every single poll promise. He said he had known Laddi for a long time as a man with a clean heart and commitment of purpose.
Captain Amarinder came down heavily on the Akalis for ruining the state during their regime, saying they had a history of damaging the interests of Punjab, right from the time of the state’s reorganisation. From health to education, agriculture to industry, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had destroyed every institution in Punjab and continued to work against the welfare of the state and its people even now when they were in the opposition, said the Chief Minister.
Taking a dig at SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s demand for Laddi’s arrest, the Chief Minister dismissed his statements as frivolous and alleged that the former deputy chief minister was used to talking out of his hat. “Does he (Sukhbir) represent the EC?” quipped Captain Amarinder Singh.
Captain Amarinder Singh lashed out at the Akalis for politicising religion, pointing out that it was their own Education Minister Daljit Cheema who had set up the committee, in 2014, for review and finalisation of the History syllabus. They (Akalis) could not even stop the imposition of GST on Langar at Harmandir Sahib nor could they get it waived off, despite their ally being in power at the Centre, the Chief Minister pointed out, adding that this showed their duplicity with regard to the Sikh Gurus and religious institutions.
In contrast to the Akalis, the Congress government believed in fulfilling every poll promise, as he had proved during his previous tenure, said the Chief Minister, adding that the process of implementation of all promise even this time was already in full swing, beginning with the farm loan waiver. He reiterated his government’s commitment to the implementation of its farm loan waiver scheme, irrespective of the financial burden it had inherited from the SAD-BJP government.
Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Sunil Jakhar said the bypoll was an opportunity for the people of Shakot to make amends for their earlier mistake of voting for the Akalis. He also flayed the Akalis for politicising religion, citing the Langar GST and the sacrilege incident of Bargadi.
Questioning the Akalis’ allegation that the Captain Amarinder government had failed to implement the promise of smart phones for the youth, Jakhar said while the Congress government would definitely fulfill this promise, the Akalis had failed to give Laptops/Ipads as per the promise they made by Daljeet Cheema in the Vidhan Sabha.
Others present on the occasion were Cabinet Minister Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Balbit Singh Sidhu, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Gurprit Singh Kangar, besides MP Santokh Singh and several MLAs.