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Friday, September 24, 2021

Internal wrangling hindering Punjab Cong’s outreach to people ahead of election: Jakhar

Jakhar’s statement comes amid the ongoing power tussle between the camps of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana |
September 7, 2021 8:26:10 am
Sunil Jakhar, Congress Jakhar, Congress in Punjab, Jakhar in Gurdaspur, Sunny Deol, BJP, Sunny Deol BJP, BJP Deol ticket, BJP Punjab, Sunny Gurdaspur, Punjab elections, Decision 2019, Lok Sabha elections 2019, elections news, Indian ExpressSources said that the trio had a 45 minute meeting in the VIP lounge of the airport and then all of them flew together to Delhi. (File)

Infighting within the Punjab Congress is hampering the “vital process” of taking the state government’s “landmark achievements” to people ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections, former state party chief Sunil Jakhar Monday said. He also expressed concern over the party cadre’s “inability” to fully leverage a major government decision like doubling of social security pension.

“Punjab government enhanced pensions from Rs 750 to Rs 1,500 for senior citizens and widows last month. It was a major decision of government and pensions have started coming in the accounts of beneficiaries as well. However, it is sad that the party’s cadre couldn’t reach out to the masses regarding a major government decision like doubling of Social Security pension,” Jakhar said.

“It is high time we put up a united face. The political wrangling within the party is hampering this vital process of taking our landmark achievements among the people ahead of 2022 elections,” he told The Indian Express at his native village Panjkosi here.

“The CM made announcements about it (doubling the pension) about a week back but I am deeply concerned about the party not being able to fully propagate the recent significant decision,” he added.
Doubling the social security pension was one of the Congress’ 2017 poll promises.

“We need to take these decisions to every household so that people are more aware. More than 26 lakh households are going to be benefited with this pension scheme.I appeal to the Congress leadership and party cadre that it is time to act unitedly to take government’s achievements to people on the ground so that party can win the next Assembly elections and form the government in state again.We can resolve our differences if any within the party. Outside, there should be achievements and promises fulfilled only, differences can be sorted within the house. However, our differences are being projected more. Cadre needs to introspect on this.”

He added: “It is time we tell people that the government chosen by them has doubled their pension amount while the during the 10 years of SAD, the pension remained stagnant at Rs 250 and was only increased in the last year of Badal government’s tenure. Captain Amarinder Singh government has increased it two times in five years from Rs 500 to Rs 1,500.”

Jakhar’s statement comes amid the ongoing power tussle between the camps of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu.

Jakhar said that AICC president Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi had directed them to take the state government’s achievements to people, but due to lack of coordination in party, they are unable to do so. Without naming anyone, he appealed to the party leadership to not indulge in creating trouble, but rather start ground work ahead of 2022 polls. “All of us must come together to fight polls unitedly,” he said.

Jakhar, who was replaced by Sidhu as state Congress chief, also distributed enhanced pension certificates to beneficiaries. Jakhar was elected MLA from Abohar constituency in 2007 and 2012 while he lost to BJP’s Arun Narang in 2017. Asked as whether he had started his pre-poll campaign in the constituency, Jakhar said, “It is a routine visit to my hometown. Party high command will decide about seats. It is too early to comment on it”.

Former president of District Youth Congress Sandeep Jakhar, Mayor MC Abohar Vimal Thathai, District Planning Board Chairman Balbir Singh Danewalia, District Congress head Ranjan Kamra were also present on the occasion.

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