Sangat darshan a cover-up: Bajwa
Terming chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's "sangat darshan" (public contact) programmes "political gimmick" and "farce", Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday claimed that the entire exercise was meant "to hide the poor performance of the state government".punjab Updated: Aug 11, 2013 20:24 IST
Terming chief minister Parkash Singh Badal's "sangat darshan" (public contact) programmes "political gimmick" and "farce", Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa on Sunday claimed that the entire exercise was meant "to hide the poor performance of the state government".
Addressing workers during the mass-contact programme here on Sunday, Bajwa said the Congress would move the Punjab and Haryana high court to stop the programmes that were "a sheer waste of public money" and "poor reflection of the administrative capability of Badal and his ministers".
There was no system at the district and state levels to redress the common man's grievances, said Bajwa, adding: "The CM should stop misleading the people." He advised Badal to rename "sangat darshan" as "Akali darshan", since it was "more like a medieval court where the king doled out bounties to loyalists".
Referring to the presence of Congress legislators in two public-contact programme of the CM, Bajwa said they were there to expose the exercise as political stunt. "The CM only proved his arrogance by not inviting elected representatives of people to listen to their views. He's doing the job of a block development officer or panchayat secretary," he added.
Bajwa said the ground realities in Punjab were very disturbing, as the state government had failed to perform on the rural development, law and order, health, education and welfare fronts, and put people under heavy tax structure.
"Punjab's growth rate has slipped from 9.05% in the year 2007-08 to 5.19% in the year 2012-13. Industrial growth, 15.90% in the year 2007-08, now is just 9.1%," said the state Congress president. He referred to the exodus of heavy industry from Punjab and the absence of concessions to the medium- and small-scale industry.
The leader pointed to the high rates of value-added tax (VAT) and exorbitant electricity charges as factors that had forced the industry to shift to other states. "The state government has no long-term vision in its new industrial policy, for there is no concession to the existing SMEs and no plan for bringing industry to the border belt. Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, rather, opposed the demand for special industrial package for the border areas," Bajwa added.
He said he had demanded special package for the border areas because land, labour and water there were available in plenty and were cheaper compared with these facilities other industrial towns. "Industrial growth of the border areas would help not only the border belt but also the economy of the entire state," he said.
Bajwa asked party workers to highlight the achievements of Congress-led union government, particularly the food security bill. "The Lok Sabha elections of 2014 will be an opportunity for the people of Punjab to teach a lesson to communal forces at state and national levels," he said.
Legislators Ashwani Sekhri, OP Soni, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa also addressed the gathering.