(Lambasts CM for refusing to reduce power tariff for domestic and industrial consumers or issue unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month to youth)
(Dr Daljit Singh Cheema accuses CM of presiding over four years of corruption, scams, brazen misrule and breakdown of law and order)
Chandigarh, March 18 – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to resign on moral grounds after candidly admitting he had failed to end the drug menace and provide employment to youth by trying to sidestep from the oath he took in the name of the holy Gutka Sahib and the ‘charan’ of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ji.
The SAD also lambasted the chief minister for his point blank refusal to reduce power tariff rates for both the domestic and the industrial sector, admitting that the government would not implement the Rs 2,500 per month unemployment allowance to youth besides stating the Rs 90,000 complete loan waiver he had announced for the farming community would not be executed during the remaining part of the Congress government’s tenure. It accused the chief minister of presiding over four years of corruption, scams, brazen misrule and breakdown of law and order.
Addressing a press conference here, former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said it was shocking that instead of fulfilling the promises made on a holy oath the chief minister had tried to squirm his way out of the commitments made by him. “The chief minister claimed that he had never stated that he would end the scourge of drugs but had only maintained he would break the back of the drug menace”. Dr Cheema played the original tape of the announcement made by Capt Amarinder Singh during the run up to the 2017 election at Rampura Phul in which the CM clearly said he would end the drug menace within four weeks. The SAD leader also shared the written commitment made by the chief minister in the party’s election manifesto which clearly states – “drug supply, distribution and consumption four weeks vich bund”.
Dr Cheema said it was unfortunate that Capt Amarinder Singh, who had promised to waive off farmer loans amounting to Rs 90,000 crore, was taking credit for a marginal Rs 4,700 crore waiver which did not even cover the penalty imposed on farmers for not paying their loan installments believing the loans would be waived off.
The SAD leader also took on the chief minister for making bogus claims of implementing 85 per cent of the poll promises made to the people, saying not even five per cent of the commitments made in the party’s election manifesto had been fulfilled. “Youth were not given unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month, old age pension was not raised to Rs 2,500 per month, Shagun amount was not increased to Rs 51,000, no houses were given to the houseless and industry was not provided power at the rate of Rs five per unit”.
Asserting that the chief minister had rightly pointed out that he had reduced his weight by fifteen kilograms because he could focus on this goal in his farm house as he did not have to go to office at all, Dr Cheema said “all Capt Amarinder did today on the completion of four years in office was to try to frighten people instead of talk about his achievements. The CM spoke about increase in Covid -19 and imposition of night curfew in nine districts but did not point out that it was his government which had miserably failed to control the spread of Covid and had recorded the highest mortality rate of 3.05 per cent in the country”. He said similarly the chief minister talked about drones coming into Punjab with drugs and weapons but did not specify what he had done to control this as well as the law and order situation in Punjab which had totally broken down under his stewardship.
Speaking about the financial condition of the State, Dr Cheema said the chief minister gave the impression that excise collection had gone up. “If this is so why has the State debt increased by Rs one lakh crore in the last four years from Rs 1.73 lakh crore to Rs 2.73 lakh crore now. He said this was the direct result of non productive expenditure with the government spending only Rs 6,822 crore on capital expenditure last year.
Dr Cheema said the chief minister also forgot to speak on the scams which had hit the State during the last four years be it the Rs 5,600 crore excise revenue loss, issue of illegal distilleries, loss of Rs 4,400 crore caused to PSPCL in league with private companies and scheduled caste scholarship scam of Rs 64 crore.
The SAD leader also highlighted how the chief minister had failed to take up the case of new conditions imposed by FCI for procurement of the forthcoming wheat crop as well as the deliberate tightening of norms to reduce food grain purchase from Punjab. “The Congress government has also profited from the misery of the people by increasing VAT on petroleum products”, he added.