In a renewed political attack on the ruling Badal family, the Punjab Congress on Sunday criticised Harsimrat Kaur, Bathinda MP and daughter-in-law of the chief minister, for decline in sex ratio in her parliamentary constituency despite her claims of spearheading a campaign against female foeticide under the “Nanhi Chhaan” banner for the past more than six years.
The Punjab Congress, as a strategy to effectively counter Harsimrat Kaur on SAD-BJP government’s failures on issues of social importance, has pitted its firebrand young woman leader and newly appointed party spokesperson Nimisha Mehta, against her. Mehta is known for highlighting several incidents of alleged injustice and crime against women and other social issues in media especially in Majha region of the state.
“Bathinda is the only district, out of the 22, in the state to record a decline in sex ratio by two points from 870 girls to 868 girls per 1000 male children. Harsimrat owes an explanation to the public on wasting lakhs of rupees on issuing advertisements under Nanhi Chhaan project, just to get free publicity on such a social and emotional issue,” Mehta alleged, adding that female foeticide campaign was a “drama” enacted by Harsimrat Kaur to enter politics over six years back.
On Harsimrat Kaur daring Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to contest from Bathinda during coming Lok Sabha elections, Mehta alleged that former was in habit of attacking Congress high command just to gain “cheap” publicity.
“She presumes herself to be national level leader, which is actually not the case. She is still to attain political maturity, as evident from her “unwarranted” statements being issued to seek media attention. Though she miserably failed in female foeticide drive for not attending to the affected womenfolk in the state during past six years, but she manages to hit media headlines by issuing lofty statements,” Mehta alleged.
By opposing the food security ordinance, Bathinda MP got exposed for her anti-poor stance, she said, adding alliance government in Punjab had miserably failed to supply subsidised flour and pulses to the poor people despite poll promises.
Harsimrat Kaur refuted the allegations and said Congress should get its facts verified before leveling such allegations. "I had been relentlessly working for girl child since long.
Bathinda had only witnessed decline in sex ratio for 0-80 years age group. But it scored 68 points increase from 785 girls in 2001 to 854 girls in 2011 against 1000 male children in the age group of 0-6 years. This is the highest sex ratio increase in the state, which witnessed an average increase of 48 points in this age group," she said.
The Congress did not have a suitable candidate to field from Bathinda Lok Sabha seat so far, she said, adding that the reports of Congress' plans to forge alliance with the People's Party of Punjab (PPP) for fielding latter's candidate was clear indication of accepting defeat in advance.