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HindustanTimes Sat,02 Aug 2014

SAD-BJP trying to hijack panchayat polls: Bajwa

PTI  Amritsar, April 21, 2013
First Published: 17:52 IST(21/4/2013) | Last Updated: 18:49 IST(21/4/2013)

Punjab Congress on Sunday said the SAD-BJP alliance will be given a tough fight in the panchayat, block samiti and zila parishad elections, despite the ruling coalition making desperate attempts to hijack the democratic process.

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Addressing party workers at a dharna by the Punjab Youth Congress here against power tariff hike, PPCC president and Gurdaspur MP Partap Singh Bajwa Bajwa said, agitation against hike in power rates will continue.

An emergency meeting of the PPCC including all MLAs, former MLAs, district presidents and senior party leaders has been convened on Monday at Chandigarh to decide on the future course of action to counter the "arbitrary" demarcation of wards, notification for block samiti and zilla parishad elections and other related issues, he said.

Dismissing the SAD allegation that Congress is running away from the contest, Bajwa said it is the SAD, which is trying to illegally grab the panchayats.

Accusing the SAD-BJP combine of hiking power tariff by 80 per cent during the past six years and its failure to fulfil the promise of making Punjab power surplus by 2010, he said people are reeling under the burden of high tariff.

Stressing that during the Congress regime, agriculture sector got 8 to 10 hours daily power supply and 24 hours supply to domestic sector, Bajwa said Punjab now faces unannounced power cuts in every sector and the 13 per cent hike in power rates for small scale industries is prompting them to shift from the state.

Punjab government had promised to present a tax-free budget, but a burden of Rs. 3,000 crore was imposed on people, he alleged adding, Congress will raise the issue of taxes in the next Assembly.

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