Hailing the sangat darshan programme that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal holds to contact people and know their problems, revenue and public relations minister Bikram Singh Majithia said it had inspired the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to try out something similar in Delhi.
"The Khula Darbar that the AAP proposes to hold in the Delhi state is an emulation of our sangat darshan programme in Punjab," Majithia told the media here on Wednesday after inaugurating the office of the Amritsar urban unit of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Old Jail Road here. On the rebates in electricity and water tariffs that the Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal has announced, Majithia said Punjab was far ahead of other states in making pro-people policies.
He said atta-dal; shagun; cashless treatment of cancer patients; scholarships for Scheduled Caste and Backward Class students; and free electricity to the agriculture sector were some of the successful SAD schemes in Punjab. "The foresighted approach of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal led to the introduction of similar schemes, so the question of Punjab's being a copycat does not arise, as we show the path to others," he said.
Earlier, addressing party workers, Majithia, who is also president of the Youth Akali Dal (YAD), said the inauguration in Amritsar was part of the plan of party president and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to have party offices in all district headquarters. "The offices will promote the government's and the party's policies and programmes and will be a place for senior leaders to meet and take feedback from its district workers," Majithia added.
Crediting the party workers for the victory of the three Akali candidates in the Delhi assembly elections, he each victory carried with it a greater responsibility. "It becomes necessary to coordinate affairs at district offices," he said. The SAD had requested Amritsar Improvement Trust to allot land for a permanent party office that would be spacious and hi-tech. The current building is rented.
SAD's Amritsar urban unit president Upkar Singh Sandhu, and senior Akali leaders Bawa Singh Ghumanpura and Rajinder Singh Mehta were present.