Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday stepped up his tirade against former CM Surjit Singh Barnala, whose grandson is contesting the April 11 Dhuri byelection on the Congress ticket against the Akali-BJP candidate.
Addressing public rallies in favour of ruling alliance nominee Gobind Singh Longowal, Badal slammed the Barnala family as well as the Congress.
He told the people of Dhuri that Barnala remained the Punjab chief minister, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president, Union minister and governor, but he had deserted the party to gain more benefits from the Congress.
Badal stated that by pitting Simarpartap Singh Barnala against Sant Harchand Singh Longowal’s heir, the Barnalas had proved that they had used the Sant’s name only for political mileage and they had always been with the Congress.
The CM asked the voters to punish the Barnala family in such a way that in future no one dared to desert the party even after taking maximum benefits from it.
Badal, who is on a three-day visit to the poll-bound constituency, arrived here from New Delhi after receiving Padma Vibhushan.
When asked why Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders were missing from campaigning for the byelection, Badal told the media that their duties would be finalised soon. He stressed that the alliance was intact and both parties were taking Punjab on the road to progress.
Badal visited eight villages, namely Benra (10km from Sangrur town), Maanwala, Dhura, Harchand Pura, Rajindra Puri, Bhasaur, Bhanpuri and Belewal. He was accompanied by finance minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa and education minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema.
‘Crop insurance a must for farmers’
Talking to the media, Parkash Singh Badal said his government would demand a minimum of `15,000 per acre from the Centre as compensation for crop damage due to unseasonal rain. He added that a permanent solution to the problem was crop insurance so that farmers didn’t feel insecure.