Taking a dig at the announcement by Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh to start a ‘lokaan da darbar’ (people’s durbar), chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Wednesday said there was no match between “such durbars by maharajas” and the “pro-people” ‘sangat darshan’ (public meetings) of the SAD-BJP government.
He was speaking at one such sangat darshan at Malout, and apparently was referring to Amarinder being a scion of the erstwhile Patiala royalty. “The politically motivated durbars of Congress leaders reflect their feudal mindset whereas the sangat darshan is a unique phenomenon wherein the entire government visits villages to solve the problems of the people”, Badal said.
Congress party has decided to hold its programme first in Jalalabad assembly segment represented by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, on June 19.
Badal, however, indulged in self-praise over his initiative: “Punjab is the only state where the head of the state conducts a comprehensive exercise for ensuring welfare of public... This is a first-of-its-kind programme in the entire country, as no other chief minister bothers to take so much pain.”
Rakes up SYL
Among other issues, again asserting that Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute, he said the project would never become reality, and vowed to “make every sacrifice to protect the river waters of the state”. The canal, held up for decades, is planned to give Haryana water from Punjab. The matter is in the Supreme Court.
“The SYL agreement was a grave injustice done by successive Congress governments with the state. The Akali Dal was opposed to this agreement, which robbed the water of state, from the first day,” he claimed, adding, “Now too, we are firm on our stand not to allow the construction of this canal.”
Badal also slammed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) over its “double standards” on “such a serious issue”.
The state government, as reported by HT, is getting village panchayats to pass resolutions opposing the SYL project, in an apparent bid to overshadow the drug menace issue that has put it on the back foot barely six months from assembly polls.
Later, interacting with the media at Fakkarsar village, Badal advocated continuation of the system of minimum support price (MSP) for crops. In the series of programmes, Badal distributed development funds at Abul Khurana, Jhandwala, and other villages too.