Slamming the Punjab government for not announcing the schedule for this year’s NRI Sammelan, People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Singh Badal on Tuesday said it showed the moral bankruptcy of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leadership which didn’t want to face global Punjabis for its failure to keep the promises made during previous such events.
Manpreet said the SAD did not dare to participate in any public function in North America and Europe. He recalled that SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had to cancel his Canada tour last year following threats of protests by Punjabis there.
Manpreet said the SAD no longer had representation of global Punjabis. The people at large are fed up with this government and the NRIs are no exception, he added.
He pointed out that last year’s NRI Sammelan did not witness much enthusiasm and the participation was much less. “This was because of the fact that the state government had miserably failed to keep any of the promises made during earlier sammelans,” said Manpreet.
He said the so-called NRI grievance redressal machinery, claimed to have been set up by the state government, had also failed to deliver. Hence, there is resentment among NRIs as they continue to face harassment, especially in property dispute cases, the PPP chief said.
‘NRIs’ interests not protected’
Gurmit Singh Gill, president (Punjab) of the Indian National Overseas Congress (US), on Tuesday accused the Punjab government of not protecting the interests of non-resident Indians (NRIs).
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, US-based Gill, a native of Mullanpur village in Ludhiana district, said the Akali-BJP government merely paid lip service to NRI interests and had failed to protect NRI property in Punjab.
“The NRI portfolio has been with the ruling family almost exclusively since 2007. However, the chief minister and the deputy CM have failed to even understand NRI issues, let alone provide any effective remedy,” Gill said.
He said the ruling alliance had used the NRI Sammelan merely to make hollow promises that were never fulfilled.
“NRI property worth thousands of crores of rupees is being looted annually in connivance with ruling politicians and officials. Thousands of false FIRs have been filed against NRIs and their relatives,” Gill alleged.