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Cong demands President’s Rule

Bathinda killing vindicates our stand about state violence: Tewari

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Updated: April 14, 2014 2:53:26 pm

Bathinda killing vindicates our stand about state violence: Tewari

Alleging “political violence” against Congress candidates and workers during block samiti and zila parishad elections,the state Congress on Thursday demanded imposition of President’s Rule in Punjab.

In a statement,Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa termed as “murderous” the attack on Congress candidate Malkiat Singh in Bathinda’s Rampura Phul. While a few leaders sustained injuries,PPP leader Jaspreet Singh Jassa was killed in the attack.

Claiming that a senior SAD minister was involved in the attack,Bajwa said he will soon meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and request him to seek a report from the Governor on the “deteriorating” law and order situation in Punjab. He also demanded that Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde should send a high-level team to the state to take stock of the situation.

Taking a dig at State Election Commissioner S S Brar,Bajwa said: “He is holding a constitutional post but remains a mute spectator to rigging of the election process and attacks on Congress workers. Brar had sold his conscience to SAD-BJP government and is fully responsible for the murder of democracy. He has no right to continue in his post and should step down.”

Meanwhile,condemning the Rampura Phul incident,former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh said it was a fit case for President’s Rule in Punjab. “Those responsible for governing the state and protecting people were resorting to such killings with due connivance of police in a planned and organised manner. This will put Punjab in a state of civil war as such violence cannot be tolerated for a long time,” Amarinder said in a statement.

In a separate statement,Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar demanded a judicial probe into all incidents,in which Congress leaders and workers had been “attacked”. “Political terrorism prevails in the state at the behest of senior leadership of SAD-BJP while the entire administration has become a mute spectator,” he said.

Meanwhile,in Ludhiana Union Minister Manish Tewari Thursday condemned Jassa’s murder saying his death vindicated the Congress party’s stand that the “ruling alliance was resorting to violence and intimidation to hoodwink the political opponents”.

“Akalis were setting a very dangerous precedent by resorting to such type of violence,” Tewari said addressing public meetings in support of party candidates contesting the forthcoming block samiti and zila parishad elections.

Tewari said the elections are fought by ballots and not by bullets. “But,unfortunately,the Akalis were trying to turn it into a war of bullets instead of ballots,which is wrong for democracy and for the state and must be strongly condemned,” he said.

The Union Minister,who addressed 14 meetings spread over the Gill assembly segment,also alleged that the Akali-BJP government has pushed Punjab into a debt trap,and ridiculed the state government for describing it as a “productive debt”.

“The state debt according to its own finance minister was likely to cross Rs 1 lakh crore by the end of this financial year and it is continuously increasing at an alarming rate. May I ask the Punjab government what is productive about this debt? The only productive thing about this debt is that it is multiplying every year and taking Punjab closer to bankruptcy,” Tewari,who represents Ludhiana parliamentary constituency,said.

“The results of this financial mess are obvious as there is no development worth its name on ground level. Any development that is showing up is carried out on the grants given by the Government of India under various flagship programmes,” he said.

Every year,the SAD-BJP government was borrowing over Rs 13,000 crore,out of which Rs 11,500 crore was being spent on debt servicing,Tewari said. “It is a unique case where the state is borrowing money to pay the debt and interest and not for any development works,” he said.

Of about Rs 13,000 crore borrowed every year,Rs 7,600 crore was paid as interest,while Rs 4,000 crore was used to repay the borrowed amount,he said. Referring to the 2013 state budget figures,he said,the fiscal debt till March 31,2013 was Rs 86,453 crore and it was to go to Rs 95,670 crore by next fiscal.

“Given the rate at which the state is borrowing,by the end of the term of this government,the total debt will cross Rs 1,50,000 crore,which will be impossible to be paid by any government,” he said.

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