In a pointed attack on the Congress government in Punjab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the state government was “slow” in implementing projects related to welfare of the people and asked the Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to get things moving.
Speaking on tardy progress of central government schemes at a BJP rally here, Modi listed several schemes that had been initiated but the progress from the state government was not satisfactory.
“The Punjab government is going slow on smart city projects of Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar and AMRUT schemes. The government should wake up and complete the people friendly projects in time,” the PM said.
Modi said that due to the indifferent attitude of previous governments at the Centre, water had been flowing wastefully to Pakistan and that the NDA government has initiated steps with regard to the construction of the Shahpur Kandi dam which would irrigate large tracts of land in Punjab and would also generate electricity for consumption in the state.
“The waste of natural resource is not acceptable to the NDA. In the next 3 to 4 years this project will be completed by which thousands of hectares of land will be irrigated in Gurdaspur and parts of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Punjab will be able to generate over 200 MW electricity from Shahpur Kandi project,” he said.
The PM also said that the Centre has earmarked a budget of Rs 800 crore for the relining of Rajasthan and Sirhind feeder canals, and after completion of this work irrigation of 1.75 lakh hectares land will be improved.
Modi also listed the upcoming AIIMS in Sangrur, modern godowns, cold storages and food processing units and a mega food park in Fazilka as some of the other major projects given to Punjab by the NDA government. He said that approval had been given to set up similar parks at Ludhiana and Kapurthala.
Meanwhile, in a reflection of the inner party dynamics of the BJP, Modi completely ignored mentioning the name of Swaran Salaria, the Munbai-based businessman who had been the party candidate in the Gurdaspur bypoll following the death of sitting MP Vinod Khanna.
With Kavita Khanna, Vinod Khanna’s wife present on the stage, Modi recalled the efforts made by the Khanna for the development of the area. He said that this was his first visit to the area after Vinod Khanna’s death and he assured the people that his dreams for his constituency will be fulfilled.
Earlier, Sukhbir Badal, SAD president, also spoke for half an hour and ceased his speech only after a chit was passed on to him by the stage secretary. State BJP chief Shwait Malik, welcomed Modi saying “Baharo phool barsao hamara mehboob aaya hai”. Both, Sukhbir and Malik, lashed out at Congress in their speeches with Sukhbir making pointed references to Gandhi family. Former Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, who’s posters adorned the stage, was however, conspicuous by his absence.