As reservation issue rages in neighbouring Haryana, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday promised to incorporate reservation for the economically backward among the general category in the party’s manifesto for the upcoming assembly polls.
While favouring reservation for the economically weaker sections within the general category, he said the reservation given to SCs and OBCs cannot be disturbed.
“During my interactions with students in different parts of the state, there were dozens of queries as why students from economically weaker sections from the general category cannot be provided some concessions like those from the reserved categories and I have promised to do so. We will make it a part of our poll manifesto,” he said.
Amarinder, as All India Jat Mahasabha president, also supported the demand for reservation by Jats in Haryana but exhorted those who have given a call for agitation to maintain peace.
Addressing a press conference here, he said there were tens of thousands of Jat families in Haryana and Punjab which did not own even single acre and those people needed reservation. He said, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was deliberately sitting over the matter.
‘Badal hand in Dhandrianwale attack’
Amarinder said Badal was opposing Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale’s demand for a CBI probe into attack on him as the “chief minister fears his role will be exposed as he has a hand in the attack.”
Time for Rahul to take over: Amarinder
Replying to media queries, Amarinder said he is supporting the elevation of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to the party’s presidency as Sonia Gandhi has worked “too long and too hard”. “She is herself wanting to be relieved of the responsibility and Rahul has gained the experience to take over,” he said. Amarinder also reaffirmed his demand that state units of Congress should be given a free hand to take on regional parties.
Dharna at Badal village on June 18
Amarinder said he will be leading a protest in Badal village on June 18 against the multi-crore recruitment scam involving one of CM’s close aides Dayal Singh Kolianwali. “Kolinawali will meet the same fate as that of Ravi Sidhu, who was put behind bars for the PPSC scam. It is virtually impossible for someone like him to act without patronage of the chief minister,” he added. He will also be staging dharna on June 8 at Dinanagar in Gurdaspur to protest against the pending Rs 200 cr payment of sugarcane farmers. A sit-in will be also held in Jalandhar on June 13against the “deteriorating” law and order situation in the state.
62 SAD-BJP ‘sarpanches’ join Cong
Amarinder also welcomed 62 “sarpanchs” belonging to the Akali Dal and the BJP from Fazilka and Ferozepur into the Congress fold. However, some BJP leaders of Fazilka disputed the claim that they were all sarpanches and said a few were even facing charges of corruption and rape.