Led by District Congress Committee president and Dera Baba Nanak MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, the Congress workers staged a dharna before the deputy commissioner's office here on Wednesday to highlight the alleged failure of the SAD-BJP government on all fronts.
The dharna was attended by Congress MLAs Charanjit Kaur Bajwa (Qadian), Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa (Fatehgarh Churian) and Aruna Chaudhary (Dinanagar), PCC general secretary Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa, Gurdaspur assembly halqa in-charge and PPCC member Raman Bahl, former Punjab State Cooperative Bank chairman Ajay Verma, PCC executive member Niraj Salhotra, former Gurdaspur Zila Parishad chairman Balwinder Singh Ladi and several other office-bearers of the DCC.
Addressing the protesters, Randhawa termed the SAD-BJP government in Punjab a total failure on all fronts. He questioned chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as to why he was creating fuss over the formation of a separate Haryana Shiromani Gurdwara Management Committee while he himself had led the move to form such a committee for Delhi.
Holding Badal responsible for triggering militancy in Punjab, Randhawa feared that the proposed morcha by the Akalis would revive terrorism in the region.
Randhawa claimed that owing to the alleged resource crunch, the SAD-BJP government was unable to pay even the salaries of its employees. He alleged that due to alleged wrong policies of the Badal government, the state exchequer was reeling under a debt of Rs. 1,47,000 crore while this amount was just Rs. 15,000 crore during the tenure of former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal of the Congress.
Randhawa alleged that many innocents had been booked under the NDPS Act by the police during the current move of the government against drug abuse while many leaders from the ruling party, who were involved in the drug trade, were spared.
PCC general secretary Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa accused deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal of misleading the residents of Punjab by making false promises of making Punjab power surplus while the truth was that the people were suffering from unannounced long power cuts and there was no power for the farm sector too.
He said the state industry was also suffering losses due to the shortage of power. He asked the party workers to ensure the victory of the Congress candidates in the byelections at Patiala and Talwandi Sabo.
Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa said notorious heroin smuggler Ladi was caught with 22 kg of heroin from Fatehgarh Churian, but the police showed him being arrested from Awankha village in Dinanagar Assembly constituency just to hide his links with the ruling party leader from Fatehgarh Churian.
He alleged that corruption was rampant in the police department and the police openly took bribe for the verification of passport papers.
He said Badal was worried about the formation of a separate Haryana gurdwara management committee because the SAD got funds from the Haryana gurdwara golaks that would be stopped in case of a new committee. He also talked of the alleged atrocities being perpetrated on the Congress workers by the ruling SAD-BJP alliance.
The leaders also submitted a demands charter of the party to the deputy commissioner.