Charging the state government with failing to fulfil the promises in the election manifesto, state Congress president Pratap Singh Bajwa on Thursday called chief minister Prakash Singh Badal and his ministers "biggest boasters".
Listing promises the ruling alliance had made a year ago before return to power, Bajwa said the CM and his son, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, had looted the state but shirked from giving people something promised in the manifesto. "Tell me, what is their achievement in the past one year after winning the assembly elections?" said Bajwa, addressing Congress workers in Barnala.
"Before the elections, the government promised to generate 65-lakh jobs in the state," said the Congress leader. "In past one year, has your son or daughter been given a job or the promised unemployment allowance of Rs. 1,000?" he asked people. "From laptops, they came to tablet but now we know they meant empty pills. The Badals have money to arrange Chintan Shivir in Goa and buy helicopter but no fund to give assured laptop computers to students. They are biggest boasters." Bajwa said.
Bajwa charged Sukhbir with misusing his position to promote family businesses. "He wanted people to turn so weak mentally that they would not dare to question his despotic attitude," he said. Reacting to the CM's comment that the Centre had forced the state government to levy property tax, Bajwa said the union government had only suggested the state to impose house tax on people who were not paying it earlier.
"The house tax could have been converted into property tax and there was no justification of double taxing people for same purpose," said Bajwa, asking people not to pay even a rupee as property tax. The Congress would regroup before the Lok Sabha elections, addressing all concerns of factionalism, he said, adding: "We are 110% sure of overcoming the differences."
Justifying state Congress leaders' criticising colleagues in public, Bajwa said it was in every party but there was no harm as long as the discussion was healthy. Barnala legislator Kewal Dhillon, Sangrur parliamentarian Vijay Inder Singla, and Mehal Kalan legislator Harchand Kaur Mehal Kalan were present.
Chaos on stage
There was chaos on the Congress stage where Bajwa stood with other leaders. The police had a tough time controlling their supporters.
When the Barnala legislator, Kewal Singh Dhillon, opened his speech, the supporters of parliamentarian Vijay Inder Singla started raising slogans in the MP's favour, at which, Dhillon's supporters relied in the same coin. Singla intervened and asked his supporters to let Dhillon speak.