Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday criticised Union minister of state for home Kuren Rijiju for his statement that Punjab is still a disturbed area.
He said it was a highly irresponsible statement on part of the minister as it conveyed a wrong message.
Talking to reporters after addressing a meeting of MGNREGA workers here, Amarinder said Punjab is among the most peaceful states in the country. “Just because some infiltrators from Pakistan entered the state and led to violence does not mean the state is disturbed,” he observed.
He said the minister should have done his homework before making such a statement that could have far-reaching consequences. He said such statements led to fear and uncertainty among investors and they avoided coming to Punjab.
Amarinder expressed surprise over the silence by CM Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal on the issue. “The government must lodge a strong protest against such a statement as it reflects badly on the state,” he said, adding that when Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said the youth in the state were falling prey to drugs, which is a fact, they (the Akalis) raised a hue and cry, and now when their own minister said the entire Punjab was disturbed they had become quiet.
Earlier, addressing NREGA workers, Amarinder lashed out at the Akali government for “failing the landless labourers” in villages by not implementing NREGA in Punjab. “Punjab is one of the worst performers in NREGA and Badal has to be blamed as he cannot say he doesn’t have the money as the Centre is supposed to pay the money to the state, which it does, and he (Badal) must have diverted it,” he said.
Amarinder said when the Congress would form the government in Punjab it would implement NREGA in letter and spirit.