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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

A ‘reluctant’ CM-face, another propped-up

Congress insiders maintained that the announcement of candidates for six more wards— ward number 1, 15, 16, 20, 25 and ward 36 — will be made tomorrow.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
December 3, 2021 5:15:55 am

Stating that he was never a CM candidate and that he doesn’t see himself as one for the 2022 Punjab polls, Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi Thursday said he was a “content man” who has earned people’s trust by delivering on promises and shouldering responsibilities assigned to him by the party and the electorate.

“I do not see myself as the CM face. I was never a candidate earlier too. My party made me the CM. I am a content man… In view of my government’s superb performance, I deserve to be known as ‘Vishwasjeet Singh’ (one who has won people’s trust). I am not ‘Ailaanjeet Singh’ (one who only makes announcements),” Channi said.

He said whatever “responsibility the party and the people of the state would want me to shoulder, I will do that”.

Channi’s remarks came on a day when Congress MLA from Qadian, Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa, pitched for state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu as the next chief minister. “If he (Sidhu) becomes the CM then it means I have become the CM,” Bajwa said at a rally in his constituency where Sidhu was also present.

To a question on Sidhu, who has been targeting his own government over some issues, Channi said all issues will be resolved. “He is my elder brother. I fully respect him. He is our state party president. We are working under the party and we have to implement the policies of the party,” Channi said.

Presenting a report card of the developments works and pro-people initiatives taken by the state government after he assumed the charge of the Punjab CM in September, replacing Amarinder Singh, Channi said, “Some say it is ‘Channi sarkar’, but I am nobody. I say this is ‘changi sarkar’”.

Channi asserted that in a short span of time, his government has not only made several pro-people announcements but also implemented them. “I am here to give a report card before people, to give full account. We have formed government to serve people. We will work with full honesty and transparency. What I say, I will deliver. I will not break people’s trust,” he said.

“We work for the welfare of all classes. This government is of all, of common people,” he added.
The CM said as many as 60 decisions have been implemented in the past 72 days since he assumed the office on September 20.

“A party chief asked us to show a single zero bill. Come here brother, I will show you lakhs of them in Punjab,” he said the power bill of zero rupees of a resident.

Delhi CM and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal last month had brought one lakh “zero” amount electricity bills and dared the Punjab CM to show even 1,000 such bills of his state.

A decision related to making power cheaper by Rs 3 per unit for consumers with up to 7 kW load has been implemented with effect from November 1, Channi said, adding the benefit of reduction in power tariff will be reflected in January bills.

“Kejriwal challenged me to show a zero bill. I can show him hundreds,” Channi said while daring the opposition to list a single decision or an announcement during his tenure, which has not been implemented on the ground.

Referring to Kejriwal’s announcement of giving Rs 1,000 per month to women above 18 if his party comes to power, Channi asked him to first implement it in the national capital. “There (Delhi) he will not give anything, here he says Rs 1,000 will be given. Are we fools,” he said.

Constantly being attacked on sand rates, Channi said the rates have been fixed at Rs 5.50 per cubic feet and anyone could procure at this rate from the quarry. He said his government was also considering reducing the transportation rates for sand.

Hitting out at the Shiromani Akali Dal over farm laws, he said, “The SAD is mother of these farm laws. They passed a law of contract farming first and they showed it to their (erstwhile) ally BJP, which later brought farm laws.”.

On his government not making the STF report on drugs public and on delay in justice in sacrilege case, Channi said, “It is a sensitive issue. If we say something it affects us in the courts. I will only say that we will make sure that the justice is delivered. The Home Minister is working day and night to sort out these issues.”

Channi also appealed to the Samyukt Kisan Morcha to press the Centre for ensuing procurement of each grain besides a law to guarantee the minimum support price.

On rising debt, he said after his party again comes to power, a long-term policy will be framed to address this issue.

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