JALLANDHAR, December 9: Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh today said that the party manifesto will be released in the month of January. He made it clear that while the manifesto will be people friendly it will be approved by the Finance Minister to ensure that each and every promise made in it is implemented in letter and spirit. He said, the party President Ms Sonia Gandhi is firm on the issue that each and every promise made in the manifesto is fulfilled.
Talking to reporters after welcoming several Akali leaders from Hoshiarpur into the party fold in presence of the party incharge Thakur Gulchain Singh Charak at the residence of senior party leader and former minister Amarjit Samra, Capt Amarinder said, the manifesto was ready but will be released in the month of January only to ensure that the Akalis do not copy it since they do not have anything to offer to the people of their own.
Replying to a question on the allotment of tickets, he said, about 2200 candidates have applied for 117 assembly constituencies across the state. He said, the screening process had started. He said, the candidates will be announced on time.
About tickets to the youth, he said, the Congress President Ms Sonia Gandhi and the general secretary Mr Rahul Gandhi were keen to accommodate youth and women. He pointed out, about 70 per cent of youth were less than 40 years of age and so was Punjab. At the same time he made it clear that winability will be the sole criterion for allotting the tickets.
Asked about the announcement made by Anna Hazare that he will be visiting all the five poll bound states in the country, Capt Amarinder said, he and his party will welcome him to Punjab. He disclosed that before he comes to Punjab, the Congress will provide him with the detailed and documented record of the corruption indulged into by the Badals in Punjab.
He said, Mr Hazare has taken up an important issue of corruption and Parkash Singh Badal fails on both the issues, corruption as well as a strong Lokpal. He pointed out, Mr Hazare wants a corruption free society and a strong Lokpal and the Badals not only indulged in rampant corruption, they also weakened Lokpal by virtually paralysing it.
The PCC President announced that after the successful completion of the Punjab Bachao Yatra, which saw a cumulative attendance of over ten lakh people during around 30 rallies across the state, Congress will be holding four major rallies, two in Malwa and one each in Doaba and Majha in the coming days. He said, the Congress President Ms Sonia Gandhi, the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the general secretary Mr Rahul Gandhi will address rallies in the last phase of the campaigning in the month of February.
Earlier Mr Charak and Capt Amarinder welcomed several Akali leaders into Congress. Capt Amarinder lauded the DCC Hoshiarpur president Sunder Shyam Aroa for motivating them to join the Congress. They included Gurmeet Singh Phuglana, senior vice president Shiromani Akali Dal, chairman Mandikaran Saba Hoshiarpur, Harcharan Singh Ghorawaha, ex vice president Shiromani Akali Dal and ex chairman Milk Plant Hoshiarpur, Kuldeep Kumar Lovely, chairman Land Mortgage Bank Hoshiarpur and chairman district cooperative union, Amarjit Singh Member Block Samiti, Hoshiarpur, Kashmir Singh Director Cooperative Union, Mohinder Singh Veer, chairman District Cooperative Union Hoshiarpur, Paramjit Singh Bawa, President Ramgarhia Krantikari Sabha, Avtar Chand, sarpanch Phuglana, Baljeet Singh Dhami, Lamberdar and member Panchayat Phuglana, Narinder Singh Lambardar, President Doaba Rajput Welfare Society, Yadvinder Singh a relative of Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sardar Manmohan Singh, President Gurdwara Prabhandak Committee Nasrala and Nachhitter Singh Bhati, general secretary Rajput Welfare Society.