Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Captain Amarinder Singh said on Thursday that SAD’s ship was set to sink as people of Punjab were waiting to throw the government out of power.
Addressing a Kisan Chetna rally outside the mini secretariat, he said that for 10 years, the government had ‘squeezed’ the farmers so hard that they were resorting to suicides. He promised that on coming to power, the Congress would waive-off all farm debts.
Apprehending harassment to farmers during the coming paddy season, Amarinder said chief minister (CM) Parkash Singh Badal had, till date, not clarified as to how he was going to procure the produce or pay the farmers as banks had refused to release cash credit limit for the same. “Mere opening up mandis will not serve the purpose. You should have the money in your coffers to pay to the farmers,” he said, asking the CM to approach the Prime Minister for a bail out.
“The situation in Punjab today is such that no Punjabi feels safe. The sooner the government goes the better it is for the state,” he added.
Amarinder said the current situation was a natural consequence of indulgence of the Badals in things other than governance. “The way they have destroyed Punjab, they deserve no mercy,” he said.
He also warned people against voting for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saying they were worse than the Akalis. He asked AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal to clarify whether he was in the race for Punjab’s chief ministership or not. “Making people like Sukhpal Khaira to speak for you hardly serves any purpose,” he said asking Kejriwal to be bold enough and declare himself if he was contesting from Punjab or not.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa pushed for a separate Kisan budget as proposed by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi in UP a few days ago, stating that it would help the government consider the minutest details of its agriculture policy and plan solutions to agrarian crisis.
Raising the issue of farmers’ debt, he said that after organising Kisan Chetna rallies in all districts of Punjab, Congress parliamentarians and senior leaders would hold programme at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to highlight the gravity of farm crisis and press the central government to waive-off farmers’ loans worth `72,000 crore.
Congress general secretary and chairperson of the Campaign Committee Ambika Soni; AICC incharge for Punjab Asha Kumari; AICC secretary Harish Chaudhary; former PCC president Mohinder Singh Kaypee also addressed the dharna.
Before making his speech, Capt Amarinder observed a two-minute silence in memory of the martyrs who died while defending the country in a terror attack in Uri sector.
Blaming Badal for sacrilegious attacks on religious scriptures in the recent past, he said God will not forgive him and he will go to hell.
He further said, “I promise that on coming to power, Congress will hold enquiries in drug smuggling and put Badal and Majithia behind bars.”
Before wrapping up his speech, Partap Singh Bajwa gave a parting advice to Amarinder, Ambika Soni and Asha Kumari that they should give equal importance to ‘A’ and ‘B’ line leadership and try to take everyone along.
“Saarean nu naal lai ke challoge tan bache rahoge (You’ll be safe if u take everyone along),” he remarked.