Not averse to united front of opposition parties: Manpreet
To pull Punjab out of economic mess and put it on the road to development, the Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) is not averse to form a united front of opposition parties to take on the SAD-BJP alliance in the 2017 assembly elections.
“We are very much keen on the opposition parties uniting ahead of the elections and contesting the polls on the basis of a common minimum programme (CMP) for the sake of Punjab and its people. The agenda should talk about tackling the huge debt burden on the state and also dealing with major issues like drugs and lawlessness,” PPP chief Manpreet Singh Badal stated here on Friday after public meetings at Sohiana Kalan village in the Majitha assembly constituency and at Khasa.
Addressing a press conference, he said there was no harm in opposition parties coming together on the basis of the CMP. “The PPP is willing to take any step that will save Punjab from the grip of the SAD-BJP alliance,” he added.
“However, the initiative for opposition unity must come from the bigger parties and not from a party like the PPP, which is just a couple of years’ old. I do not want to be being accused of riding piggy back or taking advantage of a bigger party for forging an opposition unity,” he said when asked if he would take the first step towards opposition unity.
In reply to a query, he made it clear that there was no question of the PPP losing its identity. “The PPP will keep itself intact within the united front, if it is formed,” he clarified.
“We will fight the polls alone in case there is no unity among opposition parties,” he maintained, while dismissing reports of the PPP being merged with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
Manpreet claimed that the anger against the SAD-BJP alliance was rising, which was evident from the hostile reception given to the Akalis in Canada and the United States (US).
“I will not be surprised, if in the next 6-7 months, similar protests, as witnessed in the US and Canada, are witnessed in Punjab,” he said.
He expressed apprehension that Punjab was on the verge of collapse, which could lead to a social tension. “It is reflected in the increasing menace of drugs among the youth and staggering unemployment opportunities,” he said.
He feels fresh policy initiatives are needed to pull Punjab out of the present crisis.
Earlier in his public meetings, the PPP leader sought adequate relief to border area residents for the sufferings they had been through due to their disadvantageous location.
He regretted that nothing had been done over the years to mitigate the sufferings of the border residents, particularly those who are very close to the border with Pakistan and have their land between the fence and the zero line.
Several PPP leaders, including Manmohan Singh Gumtala and Preet Inder Singh Dhillon also addressed the two meetings.
The maximum temperature in Mumbai is expected to hover around 27 degrees as the city may witness moderate to heavy rainfall on Wednesday. The minimum temperature will stay around 24 degrees. “There will be a high tide of 4.39 metres in the Arabian Sea here at 2.57pm,” an official said. Mumbai witnessed heavy showers on Tuesday as the rain intensity increased in the city after a gap of a few days.
The Union animal husbandry and dairying minister, Parshottam Rupala, who was in Chandigarh on Tuesday to review the situation prevalent due to the lumpy skin disease (LSD) in livestock, said that so far eight Haryana districts have remained unaffected by this disease. “The Union minister said the Haryana government has been making efforts to tackle this disease,” an official spokesperson said. Among the most affected districts are Sirsa, Yamunanagar, Bhiwani, Kaithal, Kurukshetra and Palwal.
Spurring medal-winning sportspersons from Haryana to help train sportspersons who can bring more medals at international sporting events, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday gave the slogan of 'Padak Lao Padak Badhao' to the players of the state. The CM, who was speaking at a function organised in Gurugram in honour the Birmingham Commonwealth Games medal winners, said that medal-winning players will have to prepare five-10 players like themselves.
Two miscreants have allegedly snatched Rs 8 lakh from a labour contractor at a railway station in Karnal. Police said the incident took place on Tuesday morning when the victim, Sita Ram of Nilokheri, reached the railway station to board a train. After receiving the information, a police team reached the spot and started investigations. In his police complaint, Sita Ram alleged that his brother-in-law Umesh has a contract to provide labourers to brick kilns.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar has called upon the people of the state to take a pledge to accomplish the 'Panch Pran' (five resolves) given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make India a developed country by 2047, and ensure their contribution towards transforming the county into a potential superpower of the world.