Putting behind the on-going war within the state Congress over presidency, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Partap Singh Bajwa is already busy setting the party agenda for the upcoming 2017 general assembly elections in the state.
Though, for record, he has been repeatedly saying that the Congress high command will take a final call over the chief minister’s post if the Congress gets majority in the assembly in the 2017 polls, yet the commitments he has been making during the meetings to invite suggestions to make the party manifesto for 2017 elections, can be fulfilled only by someone on the chief minister’s post.
Talking to the Hindustan Times on the sidelights of a meeting in Behmandiwana village here on Tuesday, Bajwa said, “Farmers ask us if the Congress will continue free power for agriculture. I assure them that we will not interrupt free power supply for them.”
Similarly, Bajwa is assuring Dalits that the Atta-Dal scheme will be resumed if the Congress came to power. “In fact, we will bring transparency in implementing such schemes. Majority of the eligible beneficiaries have not been getting benefit of such schemes at present,” said Bajwa.
Bajwa also has an outline to explain the Andhra Pradesh model health cover scheme for every citizen. Besides, he also has plans to provide home to Dalits in clusters. He also pitched for police reforms after coming to power. He also promised a special court to deal with cases against drug peddlers.
Having a dig at Captain Amarinder Singh, who is known for drawing room politics, he told the people at Behmandiwana that the party needed a president, who can visit them in villages in summer afternoons and consult them to make party decisions.
“You make calculations every first week of a month about some decision on party president. Let me assure you that I am not going anywhere. I am here to stay put,” said Bajwa with confidence.
Asked about his possible objection if the party appoints someone as campaign committee chairman, he said, “I am happy to be party president alone. Let the party make anyone chairman of the campaign committee.”
Taking a jibe at the ruling Badal family, he said, “Now Badals have more money than what Maharaja Ranjit Singh had in his times according to the value of money then. In fact, the Badals are richest Sikhs in the history.
They have looted people with both hands. We are going to implement the Bihar model and auction properties any leader found corrupt in investigation.”
As was expected, the Captain group members remained absent during Bajwa’s visit. Malwa zone vice-president of the party Gurpreet Kangar and Bathinda (urban) president Mohan Lal Jhumba, former Congress MLA Harmandar Singh Jassi were also among the absentees.