Punjab

CAPTAIN AMARINDER SINGH RUBBISHES OUTSIDER TAG ON JAKHAR, SAYS WOULD FIGHT POLLS ON DEVELOPMENT PLANK

September 22, 2017 08:50 PM

Gurdaspur (Face2News)

Asserting that the Congress would contest the ensuing Gurdaspur by-election on the plank of development, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday rubbished the “outsider” tag on party nominee Sunil Jakhar, and said that Punjab, being a small state, cannot be divided in such small terms.

Talking to media after accompanying PCCC president Sunil Jakhar for filing his nomination papers at the DC office, the Chief Minister said, “Punjab had been divided several times since partition and it’s a pity that we still think in such terms. How can a Punjabi not be of Punjab?”.

Predicting a total rout of AAP, Sidhu warned the people that a vote for the BJP would mean a vote for Sukhbir. Thanking the party high command for nominating Jakher, Sidhu said, “the day his name was announced, the Congress took a lead of one lakh votes in the constituency”.The rally was attended by senior Congress leaders, including AICC In-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari as well as AICC national secretary Harish Choudhary, besides Punjab cabinet ministers Navjot Singh Siddhu, Charanjit Singh Channi and Aruna Choudhary and MLAs.



Captain Amarinder Singh said that though he belonged to Patiala, he had successfully contested the Amritsar Lok Sabha elections and the voters there had never considered him an outsider. “Opponents raise such petty issues in an attempt to mislead the voters," he said, adding that even the late actor and MP Vinod Khanna, whose death had necessitated the by-poll, hailed from Mumbai.


Replying to a question on farm loan waiver, the Chief Minister said that the cabinet had approved the draft notification and the same would be issued after clearance from the Election Commission. He said that he did not foresee any objections from the EC, as the announcement to waive off crop loans, upto Rs 2 lakhs for small and marginal farmers (upto 5 acres) and a relief of Rs 2 lakhs for to the remaining marginal farmers irrespective of their loan amount, was announced by him on the floor of the House in June.

Saying that he would have personally wanted to provide more relief to the farmers, Captain Amarinder Singh said that he had inherited a government with empty coffers and hence at present could not afford to do more. “While UP, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh are waiving loans of only Rs 50,000, we have waived off crop loans upto Rs 2 Lakhs”, he said.

Later, addressing a public rally, Captain Amarinder asserted that his government would find ways and means to raise the money for the promised loan waiver. He had made this assurance before the elections and still maintained his government would ensure that the funds for farm loan waiver are arranged, he added.

The chief minister said that despite the financial constraints, his government had fulfilled a large number of promises made in the party’s manifesto. Captain Amarinder said that he had already announced a series of projects for the holistic development of the border areas of Gurdaspur and Pathankot, including health and education infrastructure, besides 97,000 new cards under the MGNREGA scheme.

He said that money for projects worth Rs 750 crores in Gurdaspur and Pathankot had already been sanctioned and work had started on many. He said Rs. 84 crore had been set aside for providing toilets and water connections to all rural households in the district.

Besides releasing Rs 45 crores for old age pensions and Rs 7 for Ashirwad Scheme, his government had earmarked Rs 18 crores for civil works in municipal areas of Dera Baba Nanak, Gurdaspur, Dhariwal, Dinanagar, and Pathankot, he said. An allocation of Rs. 44.02 for health infrastructure upgradation and Rs. 118 crore for school Infrastructure upgradation in Gurdaspur had also been made, besides a Rs 67 crore outlay for the urban facelift of Pathankot and another Rs 42 crore for urban facelift of Batala, he added.

Saying that unemployment was one of the biggest challenges for his government, the chief minister said that the recent job melas held across the state were a huge success and his government plans to hold this event twice every year, the next being in February. He said while 27,000 youths were given appointment letters on the concluding day of the Mela on September 5, MOUs for generating another 2.70 lakh jobs were signed with various companies.

Taking a dig at BJP candidate, Swaran Singh Salaria, Captain Amarinder Singh said, “what can he do for the constituency when he failed to even run his own medical college in Chintpurini, jeopardizing the careers of 1800 students”. He said the High Court had ordered the closure of Salaria’s college and his government had sought permission from MCI to adjust the students in other medical colleges in Punjab to secure their future.

Dubbing Salaria as a wheeler-dealer, the Chief Minister said that a month ago, the former had approached him for a Congress ticket and had now managed to get one from the BJP. “He is only interested in making money”, said the Chief Minister while adding that Salaria would never leave his business interests in Mumbai for the sake of the people of the constituency.

Urging people to vote for Sunil Jakher, the chief minister described him as an honest and an upright farmer, an eloquent speaker and a fearless and clean politician. “He alone can raise your voice in the Parliament”, he said adding that the time had come to take the battle for Punjab interests to the centre.

The chief minister also took on Akali leaders, Prakash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia, and said that they had plundered the state for a decade. “They were only interested in making money, even by patronising drug trade, and they ruined Punjab”, he said.

Addressing the gathering, Sunil Jakhar said that BJP’s decision to field Salaria had come as a relief to him, as he was a big fan of Vinod Khanna and contesting against his wife, Kavita, would have burdened his heart. He said that BJP is a party of businessmen and had hence chosen Salaria.

While maintaining that there was no dearth of other competent candidates in the party for contesting these polls, Jakhar thanked Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for allocating the ticket to him. He promised the people that he would create pain for the BJP in the Parliament. He said that he would ask for votes on the plank of development and expose the opposition, which was trying to mislead the people with its false propaganda on farm loan waiver.

“If Sukhbir was so concerned about the farmers, why didn’t he waive off the loans in the past 10 years”, he said adding that by his “historic” decision to write off crop loans, Captain Amarinder Singh has showed the way to the nation. He reiterated that the outcome of these polls would lay the foundation for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

In his address, Tourism Minister, Navjot Sindhu, castigated the “salla-jijja” combine of Sukbhir Badal and Bikram Majithia and said that they had pushed the state to the brink of disaster. “You gave them 10 years, give us 10 months to prove that we can get Punjab back on the rails of progress”, he said. He lauded Captain Amarinder Singh’s decision to waive off crop loans and said that 8,000 farmers had committed suicide during the Akali-BJP tenure.

Predicting a total rout of AAP, Sidhu warned the people that a vote for the BJP would mean a vote for Sukhbir. Thanking the party high command for nominating Jakher, Sidhu said, “the day his name was announced, the Congress took a lead of one lakh votes in the constituency”.

The rally was attended by senior Congress leaders, including AICC In-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari as well as AICC national secretary Harish Choudhary, besides Punjab cabinet ministers Navjot Singh Siddhu, Charanjit Singh Channi and Aruna Choudhary and MLAs.

All area Congress MLAs, DCC presidents and Sarpanches also attended the rally, along with a large number of Congress supporters and workers as well as people from across the constituency.

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