Describing the fourth front formed by cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu as “a bunch of fugitives and defectors”, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal said here on Thursday that “the people who backstabbed their party can never be loyal to the state”.
“These (fourth front) people have neither vision for the state nor any commitment to it,” he told the media on the sidelines of a state-level function to hand over appointment letters to 4,500 teachers. Reacting to Sidhu’s
statement against the state government, the CM reminded him that he had been an MP (from Amritsar) in the same ruling alliance and his wife a legislator. “Why didn’t he raise these issues then?”
Sidhu’s forum would make no impact, he said. “When elections come, many fronts mushroom but only those parties survive that have a glorious history and a legacy of serving people.”
Asked to comment on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Badal said that it was a party of scandals and a leadership trying to hide its failures. “Its internal tug-of-war will tear it to pieces soon.” About AAP convener’s threatening to put his family in jail after coming to power in Punjab, the CM said: “Arvind Kejriwal should know that jail is not a new place for me. It’s where I spent about two decades to safeguard the state’s interests.”
‘AAP took politics to its lowest ebb’
After another function — the swearing-in of new information commissioners and Punjab Public Service Commission members in Chandigarh — he said the Kejriwal party had taken politics to its lowest ebb by the conduct of its MLAs and workers. “Kejriwal,” he said, “should apologise to women for the indecent behaviour of his colleagues.”
On Kejriwal’s plan to buy a house in Punjab, Badal took a jibe at his Delhi counterpart, saying: “It is immaterial whether he settles here or in Delhi. First of all, he should put his own house (the AAP) in order and teach some morality to the members of his party.”
Attacking Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh for protesting outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Bathinda on farmers’ issues, Badal said he was fond of playing to the galleries, and this was another of “his gimmicks to woo farmers”. “What did he do for them as chief minister from 2002 to 2007? Discontinue free power... just to satisfy his ego!”
In almost a decade on the other hand, the Akali-BJP government paid `5,000 crore subsidy every year to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) for free electricity to the farm sector, said Badal. “And we gave them interest-free loan up to `50,000.”
‘Transfers waste teachers’ time’
Addressing 4,500 newly appointed teachers at Mandi Bhawan in SAS Nagar, he regretted that transfers and postings wasted a lot of their time and energy. “If they seek transfer because of some pressing family circumstances, it could be considered but teachers shouldn’t make it a practice,” he said.
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