WHY MAJHA, DOABA PUNISHED THE CONG IN FEB ’07? ASK SAD LEADERSChandigarh 16 October October 16 – Three senior Punjab Ministers today asked the Congress to explain to the people why the party was wiped out in the last assembly elections in the Majha and Doaba belts if "it had done even a bit of what it claimed for the development of these two regions.
"In February 2007 assembly elections, the people of Majha and Doaba punished the Congress with history’s worst ever drubbing since independence. This was the people’s revenge against a party that had consistently and systematically subjected these two regions to utter neglect. And this was despite the fact that leaders like Partap Singh Bajwa had projected themselves not only as powerful ministers in the government but even as the prospective Chief Ministers," said the Punjab Ministers, Mr. Bikram Singh Majithia, Mr. Ajit Singh Kohar and Mr. Gulzar Singh Ranike in a joint statement here this evening.
"If Amarinder or Bhattal are really so sure about their what their government did for Majha or Doaba, they should show moral and political courage to come and face the electorate here in the forthcoming elections. Let them go to the people and point out even a single major project they have given to Majha and Doaba,", challenged the ministers.
Describing the allegations of being made by the Congress leaders against the SAD-BJP performance in Majha and Doaba as "laughable and inane" the ministers said that so strong is the anger against the Congress in these two regions that even their Chief Ministerial hopefuls like Mr. Avtar Henry, their present State chief Mr. M.S. Kaypee apart from all their so-called strongmen of Majha were made to lick the dust by the people of these regions in the 2007 poll. It was evident that Congress had virtually written itself off even before the elections and that is why it came up with a sinister communal move in the Malwa belt, they said.
The ministers challenged the Congress party to make the relative development in the two regions under the Congress and SAD regimes as a poll plank in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections. They said that although there was no scope even of a reasonable comparison between the performance of the SAD-BJP govt on the one hand and the Congress government on the other, some basic facts would be enough to establish the truth. For example, they said, while the Congress government spent Rs. 229 crores on the repair of link roads in Doaba in five years, the SAD-BJP govt has already spent 266 crore in just 18 months. Similarly, in the Majha belt, the Congress spent just Rs. 254 crore for the same purpose in five years, the SAD-BJP govt has already spent Rs. 277 crore in 18 months. The Congress did nothing even to add a single unit of power through any project, the Badal govt is starting work on Goindwal Sahib thermal plant to produce nearly 600 MWs. The Congress Govt. did nothing for the Amritsar International Airport which was set up and expanded under separate Akali governments. They built just one ROB in the two regions in five years while the present government has already started work on eight Railway Over Bridges (ROBs), five of these in Majha alone. "For urban development in Amritsar and Ludhiana , we got Rs. 3150 cr and Rs. 2053 cr approved respectively. What is the Congress record ? We have set up City development Authorities for Amritsar and Jalandhar. Major funds to the tune of Rs. 165 crore have been granted by CM for development of Amritsar city . What is the Congress record in this regard," they asked.
The SAD ministers said that the Congress could see even now that it had no agenda to put before the people of the state and had therefore thought of this fantastic "divide and rule" ploy by talking of different regions in the state.
The SAD leaders pointed out that frustration was building up in the rank and file of the congress due to the pro-people development initiatives taken by Punjab Chief Minister Mr. Parkash Singh Badal to put Punjab on the fast growth trajectory. The fact of the matter is that the Congress neglected Majha, Malwa and Doaba alike. "It well known how Amarinder Singh scuttled the Bathinda refinery to safeguard the interests of one private petro-chemical conglomerate group. The then PWD Minister Mr. Partap Singh Bajwa was single handedly responsible for the rout of the Congress party in the Majha belt because he confused Majha only with his own farm house while laying the road network," the ministers said.