October 25, 2020 11:55:33 pm
Asserting that his government had taken swift action in the Hoshiarpur rape-murder incident, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Sunday said the challan in the case will be presented in court this week. He said that prompt action had been taken by the Punjab Police and the accused had been caught without delay, unlike in the Hathras incident.
“That was why Rahul Gandhi had to rush to Hathras, to secure justice for the victim’s family, and did not need to visit Hoshiarpur,” he said.
On Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s remarks on “selective outrage”, he reiterated that had the Punjab government or police failed to respond with swiftness in the Hoshiarpur case, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and others would have reacted the same way as they did in the case of Hathras.
The CM on Saturday had hit out at Sitharaman and her Cabinet colleague Prakash Javadekar for their comments over the rape-murder case, dubbing their remarks as “political puffery” with no substance or basis to support their criticism.
The BJP had attacked the Congress over alleged rape and killing of a six-year-old girl in Hoshiarpur, as it asked party leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra why had they not paid a visit to the family of the victim yet.
A six-year-old girl was allegedly raped, killed and then set on fire. Her half-burnt body was found at a house in a village in Tanda in Hoshiarpur on Wednesday. The girl’s 20-year-old neighbour and his grandfather were arrested on charges of murder, rape and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, police had said on Thursday.
Replying to a question, the CM denied that Congress MLA Navjot Singh Sidhu has been sidelined in Punjab Congress. “Who said Navjot Sidhu is sidelined,” he asked.
On the Enforcement Department (ED) summoning his son Raninder Singh in an alleged foreign exchange violations case, Amarinder said it was not the first time the agency had issued summons to his family.
Ridiculing the Akali allegations of him being hand in glove with the central government on the farm laws issue, the chief minister said “everyone knows who is colluding with whom”.
“It is the Akalis who are mixed up with the BJP, they quit NDA under pressure but are still working together,” he alleged, adding that Harsimrat was clearly involved in the introduction of the anti-farmer Ordinances and was a Cabinet minister at the time these were brought in by the Union Government. “What did the Akalis do? My government brought the resolution/bills in Vidhan Sabha to reject the central laws,” he added.
Pointing out that the fight was with the central government, Amarinder Singh reiterated his appeal to the farmers to stage ‘dharnas’ in Delhi and not in Punjab, where economic activity was being threatened by their blockade. His ministers were in talks with farmer unions to resolve the problem, he said, pointing to the fact that only one day’s coal stocks and 10% Urea were available with the state. The option to buy power from the national grid did not exist since the state had no money, he added, in response to a question.
To a question on the status of resolutions on farm laws in other states, the CM said there were 11 non-BJP state governments in the country and the Congress was in power in four states.
All Congress governments would move similar resolutions against the central rules, he said, expressing hope that other non-BJP governments like that of West Bengal would also follow suit.
On the 2018 Dussehra rail tragedy in Amritsar, Amarinder Singh said his government had provided immediate monetary relief but the matter now rested with the Railways, who would be giving the remaining relief to the victims and their families.
To a question on the financial crisis in Punjabi University, the chief minister said the previous regime had indulged in haphazard recruitment, but assured that his government will find solutions.
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