Congress leaders acting like hungry lions: SAD president Sukhbir Badal | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Congress leaders acting like hungry lions: SAD president Sukhbir Badal

The Akali Dal chief was leading statewide demonstrations along with Vijay Sampla, Punjab chief of the SAD ally Bharatiya Janata Party. The two parties cornered the Congress government on its failure to announce farm loan waiver and alleged impropriety in sand mine auctions.

punjab Updated: Jun 13, 2017 10:01 IST
HT Correspondents
With Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla by his side, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing protesters outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Ludhiana on Monday.
With Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla by his side, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal addressing protesters outside the deputy commissioner’s office in Ludhiana on Monday. (Gurminder Singh/HT Photo)

Terming Congress ministers “lootere” (robbers), Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president and former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday alleged they were busy acquiring sand mines and liquor contracts while forgetting the plight of farmers in the state.

“While Uttar Pradesh government waived farm debt in its first cabinet meeting, Capt Amarinder Singh-led Congress government has failed to fulfil a similar promise (made ahead of the polls) despite several cabinet meets,” said  Sukhbir. “This is for the first time (since Independence) that people of Punjab have lost faith in a government only after three months of its formation.”

The Akali Dal chief was leading statewide demonstrations along with Vijay Sampla, Punjab chief of the SAD ally Bharatiya Janata Party. The two parties cornered the Congress government on its failure to announce farm loan waiver and alleged impropriety in sand mine auctions.

“Congress leaders are acting like hungry lions,” said Sukhbir. “Just after forming the government, power and irrigation minister Rana Gurjit Singh has come under the scanner for procuring sand quarries (through ‘benami’ transactions).”

Sukhbir said a truckful of sand that costs Rs 16,000 will be available for more than Rs 70,000 in six months because of the Congress government’s policies. 

Taking on Amarinder Singh, Sukhbir said while former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal used to visit different parts of the state during his tenure, the new incumbent has not visited any village or city in the past three months, “exposing his dedication towards work”. 

Punjab BJP chief Vijay Sampla said people of the state were agitated over power cuts, which have become a routine affair in the Congress regime. 

Sampla said while the revenue collected by the excise department has decreased, the price of alcohol has increased manifold “that hints towards a government-supported mafia”. 

“The Congress government has failed on all fronts while Capt Amarinder Singh is relaxing in Himachal Pradesh,” said the BJP leader.

The SAD-BJP leaders also submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner, asking the Congress government to waive farm loans and fulfil other promises made in the party manifesto.

‘EXPEL RANA GURJIT’

Demanding a probe by central agencies into the sand mine auctions, SAD-BJP leaders in Jalandhar said the government should expel cabinet minister Rana Gurjit Singh until his name gets cleared in the case.

“The government has done nothing for development in the state,” said Shahkot MLA Ajit Singh Kohar during a protest outside the district administrative complex. “Corruption has increased manifold and police are harassing Akali workers at the behest of Congressmen.”

Accusing the government of not fulfilling its promises, Adampur MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu said instead of providing jobs to the unemployed youths of the state, the Congress government appointed former CM Beant Singh’s grandson Guriqbal Singh in the police department on compassionate ground.

In Moga, Akali leaders Barjinder Singh Makhan Brar, SR Kaler and Tirath Singh Mahla led the protesters along with the BJP’s Tarlochan Singh.

Besides farm debt waiver, the party leaders asked the Congress government to arrest culprits in the Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege cases, stop persecution of Dalits and bring the deteriorating law and order situation in control.

“In three months, farmer suicides have seen a spurt. All blame goes to the Congress, which had increased the hopes of farmers by promising complete debt waiver,” said Brar.