Chandigarh:  Seeking to woo voters ahead of the Punjab Assembly polls, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Badal on Tuesday announced providing free electricity up to 400 units per month to all households and waiting outstanding power dues of residential bills of ‘blue’ card holders.

The disconnected household elections connections will be restored, he said.

Over 1.44 crore blue card holders are getting subsidised atta-dal every month under the scheme in the state.

Badal, who said his party is known for fulfilling all pre-poll promises in the past, tried to woo the farmers by announcing reducing state taxes up to Rs 10 for every litre of diesel purchased for agricultural purposes.

He also promised to provide the minimum support price for vegetables, fruits and milk. The state Assembly will pass a law to repeal the three farm laws of the Centre.

To empower women, he said: “We will give 50 per cent reservation to women in government jobs. All woman heads of blue card holder families will receive an honorary allowance of Rs 2, 000 per month under Mata Khivi Ji Rasoi Seva Scheme.”

Announcing the SAD-BSP’s vision for the development of the state for the next five years, Badal said if they voted to power, there would be a provision of health insurance of up to Rs 10 lakh for every resident.

For the students, there will be a provision of an interest-free education loan of Rs 10 lakh. This will cover educational institutions in foreign countries too.

Badal said one jobs would be created in the government sector along with the creation of 10 lakh jobs in the private sector.

He said services of all contractual employees, including the safai karamcharis, will be regularised.

Giving credit to his father, Parkash Singh Badal, who was at the helm for record five times, a confident junior Badal said his party has made the state power surplus, supplied free electricity for tubewell connections and strengthened infrastructure, besides building five airports in the state.

About the promises made by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal, the SAD President said first AAP should ensure 300 units of free power in Delhi before making such promises in Punjab.

He said this promise itself was fake as Kejriwal had clearly told in his press conference here that anyone consuming even one unit more than the promised 300 units would have to pay the entire power bill without any concession whatsoever.

The SAD and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on June 12 formed an alliance to contest the early 2022 Punjab Assembly elections together.

Badal has announced that the BSP would contest 20 seats – eight in the Doaba region, seven in Malwa, and five in Majha region, out of the 117 under its alliance with the SAD.

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