Sukhbir Singh Badal announces start of Lok Lehar from March 12

Thousands collect under banner of Punjab Mangda Jawab and court arrest to demand CM tell Pbis why he betrayed all sections of society

(Promises not to implement Agri laws once voted to power besides halving urban power bills, giving free education to SC and BC students, providing MSP for vegetables and fruits and cemented roads, drains and potable water for all 12,000 villages in the State)

Chandigarh, March 1 – Thousands of Punjabis today collected here to under the slogan of Punjab Mangda Jawab given by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and faced water cannons and courted arrest to demand chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh tell Punjabis why he had betrayed each and every section of society by failing to implement even one of the promises made to the people.

SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal, who addressed the massive congregation and also courted arrest in solidarity with Punjabis, also simultaneously announced a Lok Lehar against the Congress government from March 12 during the course of which rallies will be held in all constituencies. He also made it clear that after forming the government the SAD will not implement the three Agricultural laws in Punjab, will reduce urban power bills by half, give free education to SC/BC students, provide MSP on vegetables & fruits and ensure cemented roads, drains and potable water in all 12,000 villages in the State.

Speaking about the chief minister, Sukhbir Badal said the former  had not only insulted the people but also the holy Gutka Sahib by taking a false oath that he would implement a complete farm loan waiver once voted to power besides a host of other promises. He said these included eradicating drugs within four weeks, ensuring jobs to each household, giving unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 to youth, increasing the old age pension to Rs 2,500 per month and increasing the Shagun outlay to Rs 51,000 besides providing free houses to the houseless.

“Not one of these promises has been fulfilled”, the SAD President said adding more than 1,500 farmers had committed suicide in despair even as the government had failed to give them the promised Rs 10 lakh compensation and government job. “Old age pension of five lakh families has been scrapped even as blue cards of six lakh aata – daal beneficiaries have been struck off the rolls”.

Stating that instead of doing anything, the Congress government had closed down Sewa Kendras established during SAD rule as well as meritorious schools, stopped supply of free medicines and SC scholarship scheme for Dalit students. “This is not all, the Congress government has hiked power tariff by more than thirty per cent and even increased State share of VAT on petroleum products phenomenally”. He said the State government should reduce its share of taxes on petrol and diesel before trying to indulge in sham ‘dharnas’ on high prices of petroleum products as was done by the Pradesh Congress President Sunil Jakhar.

Meanwhile asking the people to tell one achievement or work of the Capt Amarinder Singh government, Mr Sukhbir Badal said in direct contrast the Parkash Singh Badal government had earlier made Punjab power surplus, built four and six lane roads across the State, built irrigation channels and released lakhs of tubewell connections. “The SAD is also responsible for establishing the MSP regime and Mr Parkash Singh Badal is responsible for the establishment of more than 90 per cent of the agricultural mandis of the State”.

Badal said in direct contrast Punjab had fallen in all parameters during Congress rule with the per capita income in the State slipping below the national average for the first time in its history because of complete lack of infrastructure development. “Besides taking up these issues in the budget session, we will take all these issues to the people through a Lok Lehar movement starting on March 12 in all constituencies of the State”.

Earlier while speaking on the occasion, Prof Prem Singh Chandumajra highlighted how the government had admitted in answer to a written question that recovery (Kurki) proceedings had been initiated against three lakh farmers. Mr Jagmeet Singh disclosed that even though three hundred farmers had been martyred during the ongoing Kisan Andolan both the Congress government in Punjab and the central governments were unmoved. Mr Balwinder Singh Bhundur said the Congress government had destroyed the future of coming generations by allowing house to house distribution of drugs. Mr Bikram Singh Majithia highlighted how the Congress government was defending a gangster Mukhtiar Ansari in the apex court and opposing his movement to Uttar Pradesh to answer for criminal charges instead of taking measures to control the law and order situation in the State. Others who spoke on the occasion included Jathedar Tota Singh, Gulzar Singh Ranike and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema.

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