SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal Friday said the reverse countdown of the Congress government has begun in Punjab as masses are determined to teach it a lesson in the forthcoming assembly byelections. Bypolls to Jalalabad, Dakha, Mukerian and Phagwara assembly constituencies are due in Punjab.
“The reverse countdown of the Congress government has begun. Punjabis are prepared to teach Congress a lesson in the forthcoming by-polls. This would be a step towards removing the Congress flag from Punjab in the 2022 assembly elections,” said Sukhbir, addressing the Akali Dal’s political conference at annual Chhapar mela here.
He said the governance and development has been paralysed in Punjab under Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the Congress government has reneged on its election promises to the people.
“The four by-elections going to be held in Punjab are a good opportunity to punish the government for its indifference to the people and force it out of its slumber and make it fulfil its promises,” he said.
Commenting on the impressive gathering and claiming “enthusiasm” within the Akalis’ rank and file, Badal congratulated former Dakha legislator Manpreet Singh Ayali and said it was a reflection on his pro-people works, be it the cleaning of village ponds, or building parks and stadiums.
“The toofan (storm) starting from Dakha will eventually uproot the Congress party from all 117 seats in the next assembly elections,” he added.
Ayali had lost to AAP’s HS Phoolka in 2017.
Sukhbir said the previous SAD-BJP governments were known for their pro-poor social welfare schemes and developmental work. On the contrary, the Amarinder Singh government during its 2002-07 tenure was known for stopping all welfare schemes and subsides.
He urged people to compare the SAD-BJP governments’ performances with those of the Congress and asked, “Do you remember even one work done by Amarinder Singh?”
Parkash Singh Badal’s government on the other hand is always remembered for extending free power facility to farmers, introducing old age pension and Shagun schemes besides a host of other welfare schemes including the aata-daal scheme, said the SAD president.
He said nothing could be expected from Amarinder Singh. “A person who can swear falsely by Guru Gobind Singh’s name can do anything to achieve his political goals,” he said.
He said this could also be seen by the manner in which the Congress has tried to defame the SAD vis-a-vis the drug and sacrilege allegations. “Has even one Akali leader been arrested in any drug case in the last two and a half years?” he asked.
“The Congress is least qualified to talk about desecration after committing the biggest sacrilege by rolling tanks into Sri Darbar Sahib in 1984,” said the SAD president.
Referring to Amarinder Singh’s statement that a decision was being taken on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, Badal said the chief minister does not have any right to give a drop of water more to Haryana.
The SAD would not let any water go to Haryana at any cost, he said, accusing the chief minister of being part of a conspiracy to give Punjab waters to Haryana and recalling that Amarinder Singh had welcome the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to launch the SYL canal project in Punjab.
Former minister and senior BJP leader Tikshan Sud also spoke on the occasion.