Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) chief Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday claimed that the Badal and Majithia families had progressed in the last six years of the SAD-BJP regime, but the state of Punjab had slipped to the 14th spot in the rankings in terms of overall development and progress.
"The Badals and Majithias have become richer in these six years while Punjab has become poorer," he said while addressing a 'dharna' organised by the Amritsar unit of the Punjab Youth Congress (PYC) near the Circuit House here against the recent hike in power tariff for all sections.
Displaying a copy of the 2012 manifesto of the SAD, Bajwa claimed that not a single promise mentioned in the document had been fulfilled by the government in its second term. Most promises made in the 2007 manifesto were also yet to see the light of the day and these had been shifted to the 2012 document, he added.
Turning to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's claims made in 2007 about turning Punjab into a "power surplus state by 2010", Bajwa sought to remind the state government that it was now 2013. The power scenario has gone from bad to worse which has led to several industrial units shifting business to other states, he said, adding that the scene was equally bad in the rural areas with tube wells getting power for just four hours every alternate day.
"When you cannot supply power to us, then what right do you have to demand more tariff from us?" he asked even as several party workers called for burning electricity bills which they had brought with them.
Turning to the promise made in the 2012 manifesto about unemployment allowance of Rs. 1,000 per month to every educated unemployed youth till the time that he or she got a job, Bajwa sought to know the number of youths who had benefited. Pointing to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's promise to raise the 'shagun' amount to girls at the time of their marriage from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 31,000, Bajwa claimed that not a single girl had got the promised amount in the last two years.
"Thank God that our girls did not wait for Badal's 'shagun' or else they would not have got married," he quipped.
Likewise the PPCC chief pointed to the non-payment of widow and old-age pensions and allowances for the handicapped. This government cannot even pay the salaries of its employees in time, what to talk of pensions and other allowances, he added.
Referring to the chief minister's oft-repeated 'stepmotherly' treatment remark, Bajwa sought to know details of the grants that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had given to Punjab. Each time the father and son have gone to the Prime Minister with a bouquet, he has given them something for Punjab, Bajwa claimed.
On the projects for the holy city, Bajwa said, "Now the junior Badal talks of running driverless pods in the city on elevated tracks. Will someone first tell him to take care of the transport on the roads and then think of elevated tracks?"
Others who addressed the rally included the party's Majha zone incharge and vice-president OP Soni, PYC chief Vikram Chaudhary, former MLAs Harpartap Ajnala and Jugal Kishore Sharma. The rally was organised by Vikas Soni, PYC incharge for the Amritsar parliamentary constituency.