Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa said on Tuesday that the credit being claimed by the "bankrupt" SAD-BJP government for the works executed with central funds was "unjustified".
He said he would come up with a strategy to make the people aware of the contributions of the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre towards the development of Punjab.
"They (Akalis) will not be allowed to claim credit. Now central ministers, along with Congress MPs and PPCC members, will reach out to the people to make them aware of the central projects in the state," Bajwa said while talking to the media at the residence of senior party colleague Harminder Singh Gill here on Tuesday.
Bajwa made these remarks when the media pointed out that the Akalis were taking credit for the Patti-Ferozepur railway project, which will shorten the distance between Amritsar and Mumbai and also with the Gujarat port town of Kandla. He claimed that this project was his and Rajya Sabha MP and former union minister Manohar Singh Gill's brainchild. He said railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal would lay the foundation stone for this project.
"The state government has no funds for development, and it has ruined this once progressive state. Punjab has got poorer while the Badals have got richer. This is the bitter truth of Punjab," the Gurdaspur MP added.
Commenting on the party's strategy in the upcoming polls to panchayati raj institutions (PRIs), the PPCC chief said he would lead the party in these elections. He made it clear that his partymen would be ready to take on the Akalis in these elections despite any threat.
"I will reach out to party workers and lead them even if it means facing bullets. Any wrong rejection of nomination papers of Congress candidates will be met with resistance," he said, asking the government to notify in advance the reserved wards and not take last-minute decisions just to suit Akali or BJP candidates.
Bajwa denied any rift in the party. He said he would take along all party leaders and workers as he did not believe in the policy of groupism.
Others present included Tarn Taran district Congress committee chief Dharamveer Agnihotri, former MLA Jasbir Singh Dimpa and former minister Gurchet Singh Bhullar.
Some senior leaders of the Congress later complained that they were not informed of Bajwa's visit. However, Gill clarified that he too came to know that the PPCC chief would be passing through Patti late in the day and thereafter he invited him to his residence. He said Bajwa was on a private visit and had come to attend the 'bhog' ceremony of party leader Tirlok Singh Chakkwalia's father in Chakkwalia village.