Former Punjab director general of police (DGP prisons) Shashi Kant on Sunday announced the launch of a new political outfit Punjab Lok Lehar (PLL), claiming it will not only contest the 2017 assembly polls but also fight drug menace in the state.
At a public rally here, the former DGP said the party has been launched with a vision of empowering people by nurturing the ideals of democracy and secularism. The former DGP after retiring from service had made sensational claims on the involvement of senior Akali and Congress leaders in the drug racket in Punjab.
Former IAS officer Gurtej Singh and Sikh historian Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon, who retired from Panjab University, Chandigarh, were present on the occasion. The two announced their decision to join hands with Kant in the formation of the new party.
“The party aims at reaching to a wide section of society without any distinction of caste, creed and religion. Led by a team of dedicated workers, the party is committed to addressing the political, social and economic problems faced by people, which have brought the state to the brink of disaster,” Kant said, while addressing the gathering.
He said the party will take special care to restore law and order in the state which has collapsed completely. The party, he said, will make special efforts to bring human dignity and respect to all individuals.
“With a view to forming a representative government in Punjab, the party’s agenda will focus on tackling the thorny issues of corruption, drugs and unemployment besides settling long-pending water and territorial claims of the state. Health and education services in Punjab are on the verge of collapse and the party will take special care to restore its pristine position.”
The party’s endeavour would be on promoting accountability and clean administration in the state, he added. Later talking to the media, Kant said before entering the political arena, his party will strive to bring all anti-Congress and anti-Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party forces on one platform so as to ensure that the anti-incumbency vote does not get split during the next polls. He pointed out that the SAD-BJP combine returned to power in 2012 mainly due to the split in the anti-incumbency vote between the Congress and other parties.
‘Happy for AAP’
“We will be happy to see the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) joining hands with forces that are against the Congress, SAD and the BJP,” he added. He made it clear that their party will not be led by any individual. A five-member panel will be constituted for running the outfit and a similar setup will be ensured at the district and tehsil levels, he said, while assuring to name the state-level panel very soon.
The party is preparing its case for registration with the Election Commission, Kant said, pointing out that he had chosen Tarn Taran for the launch as this was the town of Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh guru who had stood up against the Mughal oppression and attained martyrdom. Moreover, this belt is the worst-hit by drugs and the party’s focus was on the problem, he said.