Congress party's senior leader, Rajinder Kaur Bhattal on Wednesday led the party's dharna at the district headquarters here to highlight issues of power shortage, increasing corruption and the demand for a CBI probe into the drug racket in Punjab.
Party vice-president (Malwa) zone, Gurpreet Singh Kangar, district president (rural), Gora Singh Tungwali, urban president, Mohan Lal Jumba, Youth Congress president, Khushbaz Singh Jattana, MLA Ajaib Singh Bhatti, ex-MLAs Makhan Singh and Chiranji Lal Garg, Rupinder Bindra also addressed the dharna held near the children park here.
"Punjab is the land of Sikh gurus and culture, but due to the weakness of the government, it is reeling under the menace of drugs, which is increasing day by day. The matter needs be investigated by the CBI," said Bhattal.
"For the past seven years, deputy chief minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal had been making fake promises of providing 24-hour power supply to all in the state, and even promised supplying electricity to Pakistan too. I would like to ask them if Punjab is suffering from lack of electricity despite having three thermal power plants, then how could they dream of giving electricity to Pakistan? " asked Bhattal.
She demanded compensation to drought-hit farmers at the rate of `5,000 per acre from the government.
Youth leader Jattana, an aspirant of Talwandi Sabo ticket, also addressed the dharna in the absence of former Congress MLA Harmander Singh Jassi, who was reportedly in Delhi to lobby for the party ticket for his son Sanpreet Singh.
"The Youth Congress cadre is ready to take on the state government. We just need unconditional support from our senior leaders in the party. People are angry with the Badals and we need to understand their anger to offer them solutions," said Jattana.
Kangar said that they should not only demand resignation of one or two leaders on the drug peddling issue, but should ask for the resignation of the whole government.
'GOVT RAISING HSGMC ISSUETO VITIATE ATMOSPHERE'
A large number of Congress workers also staged a dharna in Faridkot. Many Congress leaders, including Joginder Singh, Congress MLA from Jaitu and district president of the party and Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, state general secretary of the party addressed the workers at the premises of the mini-secretariat here.
"The Punjab government has put the issue of Punjabi- speaking areas and handing over of Chandigarh to Punjab under wraps, while it has made the issue of the Haryana shiromani gurdwara prabandhak committee (HSGMC) separate gurdwara committee in Haryana only to vitiate the atmosphere," said Kushaldeep Dhillon.
"The name of the two Akali ministers appeared in drug smuggling cases, but the government is silent on this issue while it is defaming Congress leaders to play down the issue," said Joginder Singh, the district unit president of the Congress.
Besides it, they raised issues of the rise in prices of essential commodities, frequent power cuts and failure of the government to keep its promises made in the poll manifesto.
Many leaders of the Congress also spoke on the issue of infighting in the party, which they, they said, led to defeat of the party in the Lok Sabha polls.
'NO ONE LISTENING TO GRIEVANCES OF PEOPLE'
Addressing party workers in Moga, the district Congress committee president former minister Darshan Singh Brar said that the Punjab government is fully responsible for damaging the culture of Punjab. "All sections of the society have been seeking justice but nobody is paying attention to grievances of the people," Brar said.
Brar condemned the latest increase in train fares, kitchen gas prices and LPG by the union government. He also condemned the hike in bus fares by the state government. "About 14% hike in fares of train is really condemnable and it goes against the common man of the country.
On the other hand, the Punjab government had also made the people like tenants in their own houses by imposing property tax," said Brar.
Punjab Mahila Congress chief Dr Malti Thapar, city Congress president Upinder Gill, Punjab Youth Congress secretary Kamaljit Singh Brar, former block samiti chairman Paramjit Singh Nangal and Dr Pawan Thapar also addressed the gathering.