The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday said Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh had “destroyed” the sugarcane industry in the state during his tenure as chief minister (2002-07), and that he should not “enact public dramas” now to “befool” the people.
In a statement here, SAD spokesman and state education minister Daljit Singh Cheema also took a dig at the incident in which Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa slapped a party office-bearer just before Amarinder reached the dharna site in Dinanagar earlier in the day. “Better for you to control your leaders who made a public spectacle of themselves by fighting against each other to such an extent at the dharna site that the matter has reached the police station,” Cheema said.
“A leader who cannot control his underlings like Sukhjinder Randhawa should not even think of ruling Punjab,” he added.
Cheema further added that it was during Amarinder’s tenure as CM that five cooperative sugar mills had closed down “which acted as a death knell for the farming community in Punjab”. Amarinder’s dharna was focused on farmers and the former CM spoke of government’s pending dues towards cane growers.
Cheema also said, “Amarinder had also stopped free power facility to farmers and imposed tubewell bills on the beleaguered farming community.”
Describing Amarinder’s dharna at the Paniar Sugar Mill in Dinanagar, Gurdaspur district, as a “mere farce”, he advised him, “It is better if you spell out a single pro-farmer step taken by you during your tenure as chief minister.”