By SK.Vyas

NAKODAR (JALANDHAR), January 11,2019  – The Education Minister Punjab Mr OP Soni today called upon the newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs to join hands with the state government for ensuring holistic development of villages on one hand and cementing the bonds of communal harmony, peace and brotherhood on the other.

Addressing the gathering after administering the oath of office to newly elected 880 sarpanches, 5460 panchs, 191 members of panchayat samiti and 21 members of Zila Parishad, here at local grain market, the Minister said that the newly elected members have been given a verdict by the people in favour of prosperity and progress of villages

He said that people should respect this verdict and ensure that the aspirations of the people were fulfilled. Mr Soni assured fulsome support and cooperation to the newly elected Panchayats for comprehensive development of the villages.

The Minister said that the Punjab Government under the visionary leadership of the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was committed for putting the state on a high growth trajectory. He said that massive efforts were already on foot to make sure Punjab was made front ranking state in every sphere.

Soni said that the strenuous efforts of state government would only fructify if the newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs contribute generously to it.

The Minister said that under the leadership of visionary Chief Minister, the state government has fulfilled every promise made with the people.

He said that Punjab has been already made a drug free state by initiating severe action against the drug peddler. Likewise, he said that major drive has been initiated to promote sports and provide recruitment to the youth so that their unbounded energy could be utilized in a positive direction.

Minister Mr OP Soni said that the state government has given special attention towards health and education and has increased the budget of both departments to facilitate the people.

He told that the government has so far built 2200 smart schools in Punjab and would achieve the target of 5000 smart schools by March 31.

He also added the state government had also introduced pre-primary classes in the government schools to strengthen the foundation of school education in Punjab.

Soni told that Capt Amarinder Singh had launched debt relief program for the peasantry and each farmer would be covered under this program, besides initiated Ghar-Ghar Rozgar Yojna to ensure job to each unemployed youth, 100% water and sewerage facility, new industrial policy was brought to facilitate the businessmen and other welfare programs.

Addressing the gathering, Lok Sabha Member Chaudhary Santokh Singh asked the Panchayats to work dedicatedly for the holistic development of villages. He said the time has come when every one of us must make joint efforts for developing the villages. Chaudhary Santokh Singh recalled the stellar role of Congress party in strengthening Panchayati Raj system in the country as well as the state.

The Lok Sabha MP said that the Congress party was a votary of strengthening the democracy at the grass root level and whenever they have come in power decentralization of the powers has been ensured. He also asked the district administration to organize special seminars for acquainting the newly elected Sarpanchs and Panchs about their rights and duties along with the functioning of the Panchayati Raj institutions.

Chaudhary Santokh Singh also batted for women empowerment to strengthen democracy at the grass root level.

Earlier addressing the gathering MLAs Mr Pargat Singh, Chaudhary Surinder Singh, Mr Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia and General Secretary Punjab Pradesh Congress Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary congratulated the newly elected Sarpanchs, Panchs and Members of Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti. They urged the newly elected members to work collectively for the welfare of people and development of the villages. They also hailed the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh giving major boost to women empowerment by giving 50% reservation to women in Panchayats.

Earlier, the Chairman of Markfed Mr Amarjeet Singh Samra welcomed the dignitaries. Former MLA Mr Jagbir Singh Brar thanked the people and urged to play instrumental role in checking rising environmental pollution.

On the occasion, the Minister, accompanied by Commissioner of Police Mr Gurpreet Singh Bhullar, Deputy Inspector General STF Mr Rampal and Senior Superintendent of Police Mr Navjot Singh Mahal, also administered oath to gathering for making villages completely drug free.

Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included Additional Deputy Commissioner (Dev.) Mr. Jitendra Jorwal, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Sachin Gupta, Superintendents of Police Mr Balkar Singh and Mr Gurmit Singh, Sub Divisional Magistrates Mr Paramveer Singh, Mr Amit Kumar, Mr Varinder Pal Singh Bajwa, Mr Sanjiv Sharma and Ms Navneet Kaur Bal, President DIstrict Congress Committee Mr Sukhwinder Singh Lally, former President District Congress Captain Harminder Singh, President of District Youth Congress Mr Ashwin Bhalla, Assistant Commissioners Mr Himanshu Jain and Dr Jai Inder Singh, Deputy Superintendents of Police Mr Parminder Singh, Mr Surinder Kumar, Mr Digvijay Kapil, Mr Dilbagh Singh and Mr Lakhvir Singh, Revenue Officers Mr Aaditya Gupta, Mr KS Bhullar, Mr Inder Dev Singh Minhas, Mr Gurpreet Singh and others.