Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and state Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday expressed disappointment over PM Narendra Modi’s failure to make concrete announcement for the state at his Malout rally. In two separate statements, both leaders called PM’s rally a “gimmick” and “sorry spectacle for farmers” who hoped for concrete announcements from Modi.
While Jakhar questioned SAD-BJP about absence of former Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia from the Malout rally, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh lashed out at Akalis for “betraying Punjab” by allowing the Haryana Chief Minister to be present at the occasion. Amarinder said, “The distressed farmers who had gathered to hear Modi found no succour for their problems in his long speech, which was high on fluff and short of substance. The Prime Minister failed to even mention farmer suicides and debts or the Swaminathan Report.”
The CM added, “To to rub salt on the farmers’ wounds, the Badals, instead of using the opportunity to fight for Punjab’s rights on the
water and SYL issue, actually shared the dais with Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar, who was actively working against the interest of our state.” Jakhar, in his statement lashed out at Modi for not making any announcement for celebrations of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. He said, “The Prime Minister has made a failed attempt to woo the farmers of three states. Empty chairs in the rally speak volume of the fact that Akali-BJP alliance has lost its credibility among the masses.”
Amarinder said the rally turned out to be a sorry spectacle for the farmers, who had braved the sweltering heat in the hope of some concrete announcements from the Prime Minister. Instead, Modi’s speech turned out to be an insipid affair, focused on tom-tomming of his government’s four-year rule, he added.
In any case, said the Chief Minister, in his zeal to criticise the Congress, Modi had conveniently forgotten that it was this party that was responsible for ushering in the Green Revolution and ensuring the country’s food security. He added: “Considering Khattar’s stand on SYL and Punjab water, the Akalis should have not let him be a part of the event in the first place or should have used the opportunity to corner him over these important issues, which are vital for the interest of Punjab and its farmers.”