Bajwa to beat Akalis by their own weapon
Strange but true. The state Congress president is campaigning in the Panchayati Raj Institution elections with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) manifesto in hand. Partap Singh Bajwa first reads out what the Akalis had promised in manifesto before the assembly elections and then asks people: "Did you get it?" Vishal Rambani reportspunjab Updated: May 15, 2013 12:15 IST
Strange but true. The state Congress president is campaigning in the Panchayati Raj Institution elections with the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) manifesto in hand.
Partap Singh Bajwa first reads out what the Akalis had promised in manifesto before the assembly elections and then asks people: "Did you get it?"
"Rs 1.000 unemployment allowance," he reads out from the manifesto, summons a young man from the gathering and asks him: "Tell everyone how much you get as unemployment allowance?" The young man says he doesn't get any, and Bajwa continues: "Where are the laptops and the metro trains you were promised?
On pension and Shagun schemes also, he blasts the government. "In the manifesto, the Akalis promised to double the pension of widows and senior citizens. Show it to the Akalis when they come to your house to ask for vote," said Bajwa. "In 14 months since they have been into power, they haven't fulfilled any of the 204 election promises."
"If you go by this manifesto," Bajwa tells a woman, Satwant Kaur, "the government has to pay you Rs 14,000 for the past 14 months, because it doubled your pension. First claim this amount and then vote for the Akalis."
The state government owed Rs 1,000 a month to each of the 65-lakh unemployed youth in Punjab, said Bajwa. "The government that siphons the Shagun meant for your daughters has no right to seek vote," he tells the voters. "Nearly 80,000 Shagun applications are pending," he adds.
At a public meeting here in the Patiala Rural constituency, Bajwa gave the SAD manifesto copy to local legislator Brahm Mohindra with instructions to distribute its copies in villages. "It's high time to expose the government through its own instrument," said Bajwa.
"Both chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son, deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, have cheated people and pushed the state into a debt of Rs 1-lakh crore. Where has this money gone?" he added.
Fearing rigging and violence in the elections, he said the party would ask the state election commissioner for paramilitary security and video-recording facility at every booth. "The police are playing into hands of jathedars, while the Akalis continue to threaten our men," he said.
PPCC revamp after polls
The revamping of the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) is on the cards, as state party president Partap Singh Bajwa has said he will announce his new team after the panchayat elections.
Bajwa, snubbed by the party high command on this question once, has sought another appointment with it. "I would like to change not only the state committee but also some district presidents in the next fortnight." he said at Allowal on Tuesday. He claims to have the sanction to include 10 to 15 confidants. At present, he works with team Amarinder, which may get the boot.
Tikku in danger zone?
Bajwa on Tuesday hinted at taking action against leaders absent from the Congress campaign for the May 19 zila parishad and block samiti elections. "Raninder Singh, and whosoever else is missing, won't be spared," he said. Raninder, son of former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, has been absent from Samana and Jasjit Singh Randhawa from Dera Bassi. The party will form a committee to suggest action.