Updated: March 22, 2021 8:47:57 am
SOUNDING THE poll bugle in Punjab ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday announced that if AAP forms government in Punjab next year, jobs would be provided to all those unemployed youths who were registered under the ‘Har Ghar Naukri’ scheme by Congress ahead of 2017 polls but never given the promised jobs.
Addressing the party’s ‘Kisan Maha Sammelan’ at the grain market in Baghapurana of Moga, Kejriwal said he had come to salute the farmers of Punjab who are protesting at the borders of Delhi and were the “first ones to raise their voices against the Centre’s three farms laws” and start an “andolan (movement) which has now become an andolan of each Bharatwasi (countryman)”.
Kejriwal said that if AAP forms government next year, it will create a ‘Naya Punjab’ on the lines of the Delhi model “where people are getting free electricity, free treatment in mohalla clinics and excellent education in government schools”.
On the ‘Berozgaar Bhatta cards’ (unemployment allowance cards) that were distributed by Congress ahead of Punjab elections in 2017 and the promise of one job per household under ‘Har Ghar Naukri’ scheme, Kejriwal, while flashing one such card on stage, said, “This card says ‘Captain ne saunh chukka, har ghar ikk naukri pakki’ (Captain has taken a vow, one job in every household is confirmed). So, did you get the jobs? People who got the jobs, can they please raise their hands?” the Delhi CM asked the crowds, adding that at least 20 lakh such cards were distributed by Amarinder before polls in 2017 and now those people stand “cheated”.
“Don’t throw away these cards please. This will solve two purposes. One, look at them every morning and they will remind you of the person who took your votes after cheating you. And secondly, AAP will give jobs to all those people who were given these cards by Captain, if we form government next year. And till they won’t get a job, we will give them unemployment allowance. We also contested polls in Delhi and have fulfilled each and every promise made to the people there,” said Kejriwal.
“Dhokha dene valon se badla lete hain,” he said, asking people to “take revenge” from those who “cheated” them with their “pre-poll promises which were never fulfilled”.
“Did you all get the smartphones? Did you all get 2,500 monthly pension? Has all of your debt been waived?” he asked the crowd, adding, “People here won’t believe it but in Delhi, electricity bills of majority of households are zero. They get free treatment and free of cost surgeries in government hospitals and mohalla clinics. Our government schools are world-class. We aim to create a Punjab where no child’s education or any person’s treatment is not discontinued due to lack of money. Naye Punjab ka sapna banana hai…”
After paying tribute to 282 farmers who died during the agitation, whose names were put up on a board at the rally stage with the slogan ‘Kisaana De Naal Kejriwal’ (Kejriwal with farmers), the AAP chief said, “I have come here to salute the farmers of Punjab. Modi passed those three black laws and the first voice of protest, the first voice of resistance, came from Punjab and reached Delhi. Today, farmers of the entire country are standing with you all. Punjab se andolan utha aur poore desh mein phail gaya. The fire which you started here has now spread in the entire country. Punjab veeron ki dharti hai.”
“Farmers of Punjab have always taken a lead in raising their voices against injustice. Now it is no more an andolan of the farmers but also of each man, woman and child. Not just Punjab, it has reached every household of Delhi. Now it no more an andolan of one of two states, it is now an andolan of every Bharatwasi (countryman),” he added.
Kejriwal said that all possible efforts were made by the Modi government to stop farmers of Punjab from reaching Delhi, but they forgot that it was Punjab.
“And then they planned a conspiracy. They allowed farmers to come to Delhi and asked us to pass orders to convert nine huge grounds/stadiums into jails so that farmers from Punjab rot in those jails for months and the agitation fizzles out. But it is Waheguru ki kirpa, that the power to convert those grounds into jails was with our government not the Centre. I refused to sign those orders despite multiple calls and the pressure on me from the Centre. I know well how to fight against the Centre. I won’t let them take any action against farmers. So farmers of Punjab should not worry at all, till I am there in Delhi,” said Kejriwal, adding that his party MLAs, leaders and workers ‘served’ farmers protesting at the borders like ‘sewadars’.
“I told them that they should not go there wearing our party caps and taking our flags. They should not take name of Kejriwal, or AAP there but should serve our kisaan like true sewadars. My government arranged water, toilets and free WiFi for protesting farmers. Delhi Police house-arrested me so that I could not meet protesting farmers at Singhu and Tikri borders,” he claimed.
“They defamed farmers by calling them aatankwadi (terrorists) and Khalistani but they forgot that the entire country is watching. AAP has filed at least 70 cases against such BJP leaders who abused and defamed farmers and one day they will go to jail…Since 70 years, injustice has been happening with farmers. Political parties come and promise but do nothing for them. But we will create a new and khushaal Punjab for farmers and everyone else,” the Delhi CM said.
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