With the inauguration of four projects worth around Rs 4,000 crore, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday prepared the perfect launch pad for Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's election campaign in the state.
The PM inaugurated the 600 mw thermal plant for Goindwal Sahib, four-laning of the Amritsar-Wagah road, the Guru Ram Das project to provide water supply and check sewage in the city and up-gradation of the Wagah joint check post. He also handed over the possession of the historic Gobindgarh fort from the army to the Punjab government.
In a bid to give the centrestage to Amarinder Singh, the Prime Minister heaped praise on the Chief Minister giving him the credit for "working tirelessly and with vigour to take the state further on the road of progress".
Keeping in mind farmers, the Prime Minister chose the platform to announce steps taken on loan waivers to the community. "The committee we have formed to look at ways of reducing the problem of rural indebtedness, is going to submit its report shortly and our government will soon be taking additional measures to reduce this burden," Singh said while addressing a rally here.
Emphasising the need of hard work, the Prime Minister cautioned its people that other states were marching ahead both in agriculture and industry. "The growth of agriculture which we saw in 1960s and 70s, has slowed down. In agriculture, other states are reaching Punjab's level of productivity. And as far as industry is concerned, many other states have raced ahead of Punjab." He urged every citizen to renew "his pledge to work hard to make the state number one in the country once again."
Having stayed in Amritsar after migrating from Pakistan during the Partition, a nostalgic Singh shared some fond memories of his stay in the holy city. He recalled that the city of Harmandar Sahib was then prosperous for its trade ties with countries like Afghanistan, Iran and other Central Asia.
The PM also listed several developmental projects that are in the pipeline for the state. Singh assured the gathering to provide 1,500 mw additional power to Punjab even before the completion of the power project in Chhatisgarh.
Earlier addressing the gathering, Amarinder Singh praised Singh for his efforts to bring in projects worth around Rs 61,910 crore to the state. He took potshots at his bete noire Shiromani Akali Dal chief Parkash Singh Badal for procuring only Rs 50 crore from the NDA regime for the state.