In absence of a SAD-BJP candidate against Congress member of Parliament and union information and broadcasting minister Manish Tewari, the leaders from the ruling alliance parties are taking turns to hit back at the latter who is stepping up his connect with people of his constituency.
High drama prevailed outside Tewari's residence on Monday as Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) workers led by BJP district president Praveen Bansal and SAD district president Hira Singh Gabria gheraoed his house to protest against UPA government's discrimination against Punjab by depriving it of the special industrial package.
Unable to control their emotions, the SAD-BJP workers did not restrict to a peaceful protest and resorted to shouting slogans against the Congress MP. The situation became tricky as the workers tried to force entry into his house by climbing the walls. The mahila wing of BJP threw bangles inside the premises.
However, the police intervened and added to the number of barricades at the entrance and along the boundary wall of the MP's residence.
The protest rally of almost 200 plus became the race to become the face of the crowd between SAD and BJP as Gabria even said, “Oh BJP wallo chup ho jao te mainu bolan deo (Keep quite BJP workers and let me speak).”
A senior Congress leader, while taking a jibe at SAD-BJP leaders, said, “This is not the first attempt from the ruling regime to stage a protest outside Tewari's house, and like previous occasions, this one was also directionless.”
Refusing to sit back, Tewari was quick enough to take a dig at the Akali-BJP leaders, asking them to better protest in front of the house of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who was the union minister of state for industries in the Vajpayee government when this package was originally announced.
Tewari in a statement issued said the Congress-led UPA government at the centre tried to rationalise the incentives by curtailing the scheme in 2007, withdrawing the incentive on central excise to these states in 2010 and the incentive on income tax in 2012.
The Ludhiana MP said he or the UPA government at the Centre did not need a certificate from the Akali-BJP leaders for the contribution and help provided to the Ludhiana industry in terms of excise and other relief and other incentives.
“Everybody in Ludhiana knows our contribution towards helping the industry in various ways and I really don't need any certificate for that, more so from the Akalis or the BJP who have pushed the industry to the brink,” he remarked.
At the same time, the minister termed it as the frustration of the Akali-BJP leadership in Punjab for their continuous and consistent failure with unfailing regularity to retrieve the economy.
“Since they do not have the moral courage to admit to their failures and accept that there is a policy paralysis in Punjab resulting in bankruptcy, they have to blame someone else and hence decided to stage demonstration against me,” he added.
“If industry is shutting down in Punjab, it is not because of the incentives to others, but only because the failure of the state government,” he said, while pointing out, “Our industry is not moving to the hill states, but to other states which do not have any incentives.”