Navjot Sidhu writes to Sonia Gandhi listing 13 major issues, seeks time to present agenda for 2022 polls

“I further request you to kindly give me a personal audience to present to you the Punjab Model with a 13-Point Agenda to be part of the Congress Manifesto for the 2022 Assembly Elections,” Navjot Singh Sidhu asked Sonia Gandhi.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.(ANI)
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu.(ANI)
Updated on Oct 17, 2021 02:08 PM IST
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Written by Srivatsan K C | Edited by Avik Roy, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A day after interim Congress president Sonia Gandhi reprimanded the G 23 leaders for using the media to voice their opinions, Punjab unit president Navjot Singh Sidhu on Sunday used the same platform to list out issues facing the party in the state. He wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi and shared a copy of the same on Twitter.

Further, with an eye on the upcoming assembly polls next year, Sidhu also asked for a personal meeting to present his 13-point agenda which is to be part of the poll manifesto.

“I further request you to kindly give me a personal audience to present to you the Punjab Model with a 13-Point Agenda to be part of the Congress Manifesto for the 2022 Assembly Elections, which is separate from this by means of its long-term vision to be implemented over a longer period of time, have crafted it through years of consultations with academics, civil society, party workers and feedback from the People of Punjab,” Sidhu said.

Sidhu recently resigned as the president of Punjab Congress Committee, however, following the Congress central leadership’s intervention, he was asked to withdraw the resignation and continue with his duties, a decision by which he followed.

Starting afresh, Sidhu in his letter wrote, “Punjab for decades was the richest state of the country and today it is the most indebted state of India. Punjab is submerged under Lakhs of crores of Debt due to gross financial mismanagement over last 25 years and diversion of public resources making a few powerful people rich and having left the state Debt-distressed.”

Also read | ‘Full faith in Congress president,’ says Navjot Sidhu after AICC meeting

He further said that the BJP government at the Centre for the past seven years has “supplemented” the issues by “discriminating against Punjab while paying its financial dues such as GST payments, Rural Development Fund payments, Post-Matric Scholarship for Scheduled Castes payments etc.”

Calling the list of problems as “issues of justice for the soul of Punjab”, Sidhu also lauded Rahul Gandhi, who he claimed was the “torch-bearer” of these issues. As far as the issues, Sidhu touched upon the topics of justice for sacrilege, drug menace in the state, agriculture, electricity and power purchase agreements (PPA), employment, welfare of scheduled castes and backward castes, single window system for improving business environment in the state, liquor and sand mining issues, transport infrastructure, “cable mafia” and women and youth empowerment.

“It might be the last damage control exercise or else, Mafia-Raj ruling the State patronized by the Badals will take the state to the extend [extent] of financial emergency, joblessness, corruption and agrarian crisis, from which, there will be no return. Thus, I request you please kindly consider these points and give your august direction to the State Government to act in the best interests of the People of Punjab immediately,” he wrote in the letter.

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Tuesday, December 07, 2021