Criticising the SAD-BJP coalition government in the state for its alleged all round failure, union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari on Wednesday cautioned the party workers against backstabbing by its own people.
Addressing a series of public meetings in support of the party candidates contesting block samiti and zila parishad elections in Jagraon assembly segment, Tewari pointed out that despite best efforts of the party workers, Congress candidate from Jagraon Isher Singh Meharban lost by just about 200 votes as some Congressmen worked against him.
“The Congress is strong enough to meet any challenge and if anybody could damage the party it was only some enemies from within,” he warned.
“Had it not been the internal sabotage in Congress, the situation in Punjab would be different,” Tewari regretted, while referring to the poor law and order, shattered economy, widespread unemployment and rampant drug peddling and addiction prevailing in Punjab under the Akali regime.
The union minister said the block samitis and the zila parishads, besides the panchayats were the backbone for the functioning of the democracy particularly for ensuring development in the rural areas.
He said it was former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who conceived the idea of strengthening the local bodies for effective governance and later after his death, the Congress government in 1993 passed the 73rd and 74rd amendment to the Constitution for this purpose.
Tewari expressed confidence that despite the pressure tactics and arm-twisting attempts by the Akalis in Punjab, just because they were in power, the Congress candidates “were in a strong position to make the Akalis bite the dust”.
Lashing out at the Akali-BJP regime, he reminded people of their promises. He pointed out when SAD-BJP assumed power in 2007, they promised to provide round the clock power within three years, that is by 2010.
“Now they have been in power for over six years and the power supply does not last for more than four hours in rural areas,” he said.
Tewari was accompanied by District Congress Committee president Pawan Dewan, former minister Isher Singh Meharban, Buta Singh Janetpura, Surinder Singh Chhazewal, Gurjit Singh Gita, Malkit Singh Galib Kalan, Davender Kathuria, Kaka Grewal, among others.