Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday described the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a party of defectors, which was bereft of any ideology for public welfare.
Addressing public gatherings during sangat darshan programmes at Sathiali, Gunnopur and Bhaini Mian Khan villages here, the chief minister said the turncoat leaders who had been rejected by people time and again were joining AAP, which was a clear indication that the party did not have any concrete ideology or programme for the welfare of the state and its people.
He said the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had a glorious history of relentless struggle for the cause of Punjab and its people.
Criticising AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, Badal said he had run away from the promises made to people. Citing an example, the chief minister reminded the people that his Delhi counterpart had announced to hold regular janta darbar for resolving the issues of public.
However, instead of keeping his word, the Delhi chief minister abandoned his well-publicised programme, Badal said.
The chief minister said Punjab was the only state where the government resolved the issues of people through sangat darshans. He said this pro-people initiative extensively aimed at welfare of people was a flagship programme of SAD-BJP alliance government.
Badal said no other chief minister of any other state undertakes such an exercise to redress the grievances of people in such an elaborate manner.
Coming down heavily on former president of the state Congress, Pratap Singh Bajwa, for issuing baseless statements against the state government, the chief minister said it would be better for Bajwa to focus more on his party affairs.
He said rather than wasting his energy on posing questions to the state government, Bajwa should seek answers from his party chief Captain Amarinder Singh.
Slamming the state Congress leadership for opposing his sangat darshan programmes ‘tooth and nail’, the chief minister said the state Congress leaders were envious of the state’s overall development and prosperity of its people. Badal said besides giving a major fillip to the overall development of the state, the sangat darshan programmes had also been instrumental in mitigating the woes of common people.
He further said the concept of sangat darshan was an integral part of the state’s governance as it virtually brought the government to the doorsteps of the people thereby bridging the communication gap between the masses and the administration, which normally hindered the process of development.
The chief minister said that besides acting as a catalyst for redressing the grievances of people, the sangat darshan programmes were also helpful for the state government to adjudge the working of officers of the various departments.
He said that nobody, including the Congress leaders, could deter him from holding sangat darshans to ensure the well-being of people. “The sangat darshan helps us to evaluate the performance of the officers which further facilitates us to provide effective, accountable and transparent governance to the people,” he added.
Meanwhile, in a major reprieve for the people of the region, the chief minister announced to start a major drive for cleaning of the drains in the ‘chhamb’ (wetland) area.
Interacting with a delegation of cane growers from the region at Gunnopur village, the chief minister assured them that the state government was firmly committed to bail out the farming community from any problem being faced by them. He said Rs 540-crore arrears had already been paid to sugarcane growers by the government besides arranging Rs 200-crore loan for private sugar mills for sugarcane arrears. Likewise, he said the Punjab government had also decided to give Rs 295 per quintal for sugarcane against Rs 220 fixed by the Centre.
Prominent amongst others present on the occasion included former cabinet minister and chairman of Punjab State Technical Education and Industrial Training Board, Sewa Singh Sekhwan, Youth Akali Dal leader Jagroop Singh Sekhwan, Badal’s special principal secretary S Karunaraju and deputy commissioner Abhinav Trikha.