Sat. Mar 2nd, 2024

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President Sukhbir Singh Badal today challenged the Congress party to name its chief ministerial candidate in Punjab even as he maintained that chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had lost the trust of not only the people but also the top Congress leadership of the State.

Talking to newsmen here after addressing two large public meetings in favour of Mohinder Singh Sandhar in Sham Chaurasi and Varinder Singh Parihar in Hoshiarpur, the SAD President said there was a free for all in the Punjab Congress on the issue of the chief ministerial face of the party on the eve of the State elections. “Channi wants to stick on to the chair but the party leadership does not regard him as a bonafide chief minister. Pradesh Congress President Navjot Sidhu is blowing his own trumpet and disrespecting Channi every day. Punjabis have turned against the Congress because it has failed to implement any of the promises made to them. You will see it self-destruct in the coming days”.

Answering another question, Mr Sukhbir Badal said it was the responsibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to resolve pending issues of Punjab. “The people of the State have been waiting for decades for successive Prime Ministers to correct the injustice meted out to the State. The Prime minister should during his forthcoming visit to the State announce transfer of Chandigarh as well as Punjabi speaking areas to Punjab besides assuring the State that its riparian rights over its river waters would be recognized. He should also announce a farm loan waiver on the occasion to help revive the agricultural economy of the State”.

Meanwhile addressing the massive gatherings at both places; Mr Badal said the SAD-BSP alliance was the only regional entity in the fray in the Punjab poll arena. He said the SAD represented the regional aspirations and had always stood up to defend the rights of the State.

While speaking about those who had left the SAD to join the BJP, the SAD leader said some leaders had gone to acquire security cover while others had joined hands with the saffron party to save their business interests. “All of them will lose their security deposits”, he said adding “we will not take back any of these backstabbers”. Mr Badal also announced the expulsion of former legislator Mohinder Kaur Josh from the party for indulging in anti-party activities”.

Meanwhile Mr Badal also assured that once the SAD-BSP alliance government was formed a Kandi Area Development ministry would be established. “This ministry will not only look into the development of the Kandi area but would also be entrusted with the task of creating employment opportunities for youth”. He also announced that farmers in the Kandi belt would be given tubewell connections on priority besides assuring to mitigate the problems of the area including provision of drinking water facilities and protection of crops against wild animals.

The SAD president also disclosed how the next SAD-BSP alliance government would focus on education and create mega schools in each block. “Our emphasis will be on creating mega schools with utmost modern facilities in each block. This way we will do away with small schools with limited facilities and lack of teachers”. He also announced that the next alliance government would reserve 33 per cent seats in all technical educational institutions for students from government schools. He said an interest free student loan of Rs 10 lakh would also be given to students for educational expenses in India and abroad. He said young entrepreneurs would also be eligible for an interest free loan of Rs five lakh.

Mr Badal also participated in road shows in both constituencies and was given a rousing welcome by the people of the area. He also paid obeisance at various gurdwaras and temples besides partaking street food in the Hoshiarpur market. The visit also witnessed Vice presidents of the Municipal Council – Kharaiti Lal and Tarlok Singh, sitting councilor Monika Katana along with various former councilors and office bearers of Congress party from Sham Chaurasi joining the SAD. EOM

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