Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday lambasted the Akali-BJP government in Punjab for its “anti-industry” policies and assured representatives that his party shall bring the “dwindling industry on track” in the state if voted to power.
Kejriwal, who is on a three-day visit to Punjab, said his party shall not only bring back those 20,000 industrial units that had “left” the state due to the “wrong policies” of the government, but shall also “reinstate” them with honour and confidence, adding that the AAP government will also attract a similar number of new investors to the state.
The Delhi Chief Minister was interacting with representatives of trade, industry and transport to get a first-hand account of their problems in order to prepare the AAP manifesto for the 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab.
In order to attract new industry, he also assured that after his party forms the government in Punjab, all pending VAT refunds shall be paid within six months and in future, a system shall be put in place so that the refund is automatically given to the dealer within a month of filing VAT returns.
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Referring to the law and order situation in the state, Kejriwal described it as a period of “Gunda Raj” of which the residents of Punjab have fallen victims.
He claimed Punjab Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia had filed cases against him and senior AAP leader Sanjay Singh in the court and now, a party MLA was being implicated in a “false case” of sacrilege.
Besides, hundreds of false cases were also registered against AAP workers at various police stations in the state, he claimed.
“There is complete chaos in Punjab and the state government is an utter failure on all fronts,” he said.
During an interactive session with the audience, Kejriwal said his party would revamp the entire transport policy as the Badals have “monopolised” the transport industry in the state.
“If voted to power, the AAP government shall cancel all their permits and allot the same to the unemployed youth of the state,” he said.
Kejriwal was accompanied by Sangrur MP Bhagwant Maan, MP Sadhu Singh and Ashish Khetan.
Meanwhile, activists of Shiromani Akali Dal and some Muslim organisations held a demonstration against Kejriwal near Mini Secretariat in Ludhiana demanding a case be lodged against AAP MLA from Delhi Naresh Yadav in connection with the alleged sacrilege incident at Malerkotla.
As Kejriwal arrived to interact with the representatives of trade, industry and transport, the protesters chanted ‘Kejriwal go back’, ‘Kejriwal hai hai’ slogans and burnt an effigy of the Delhi Chief Minister.
President of the SAD district unit Harbhajan Singh Dang and Abdul Shakoor Mangat, the leaders of the demonstration, demanded immediate arrest of Mehrauli MLA Yadav for his alleged involvement in desecration of a holy book at Malerkotla. They alleged that AAP leaders were out to “defame and destroy” Punjab’s hard-earned peace.