IT WAS more of politics than remembering martyrs Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on Martyrdom Day at Khatkar Kalan, as ruling Congress and SAD attacked each other. While the Congress government organised a state-level function, SAD took out a rally at the native place of Bhagat Singh.
Launching a frontal attack on the previous SAD-BJP government, Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjeet Singh said Shaheed-e-Azam had never thought that there would be such leaders in his country of dreams who would use power to loot and beat common people. He said everyone witnessed the way drugs spread in the state during the last decade and how the previous government used its power to mint money and lodge police cases against its opponents. The minister gave a clarion call to eradicate drug menace from Punjab by this year-end besides rehabilitating all addicts in what would be a real tribute to Bhagat Singh. He also attacked the previous government for ignoring the Doaba region by not strengthening canal water irrigation system and promised to get it done.
Former Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, on his part, said it was unfortunate that all development work had come to a halt after Congress took over the reins and added that it was not a good start. He also attacked the Congress government for seeking help from the Centre to waive the loans of Punjab farmers.
Attacking the new government, he said Congress had deceived farmers on the issue of loan waiver. During election campaign, Congress got forms for waiving loans filled by farmers to make them believe that Captain Amarinder Singh would waive their loans after coming to power. But, now the CM has urged the PM for the loan waiver package. “Let them take decisions in the coming six months on its major pre-poll promises,” he said, adding that they will get exposed.
While criticising the Congress for starting vendetta politics, the SAD chief exhorted party workers to thwart it collectively.
Sukhbir even challenged Congress to beat the development done by the SAD-BJP government in the last decade. He said during 2002-07, Congress had done only patchwork as stated by former Congress leader of Opposition Charanjit Singh Channi, who is a minister now, in the Assembly. Attacking AAP, he said, “They got sliced in the election. But their negative propaganda against us benefited Congress.” He also refuted the PRTC claim of earning Rs 10 lakh a day after the new government took over.
Family members of the martyrs, including Zorawar Singh Sandhu, nephew of Bhagat Singh, Vinod Thapar, Ashok Thapar, Sandeep Thapar, nephews of Sukhdev, and Tribhuwan Thapar, grandson of Sukhdev, were all present at the state function.
Sukhbir clarifies on Yamuna water
When Sukhbir was asked why the previous government did not raise the issue of getting Yamuna water (raised by Captain Amarinder now) if Haryana demands Punjab water through SYL, Sukhbir claimed they had raised the issue since the beginning but could not provide convincing facts on it.
The irrigation minister, on the other hand, said Sukhbir had never raised the Yamuna water issue. “He is lying now and if they had taken the SYL seriously, this situation would not have arised,” said Rana, adding that if Captain demands loan waiver from PM, it is because Sukhbir had failed to get it done by the Centre.