SHAHEED BHAGAT SINGH NAGAR (NAWASHAHAR), November 21: Underlining the need for change and giving a clarion call to the people of Punjab to ensure that the Akali-BJP alliance is thrown out of power, the Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder today asked, “who lives if Punjab dies?” He said, the Akali-BJP government had devastated Punjab and it was important to bring in change to retrieve the situation, while at the same time promising revolutionary measures to rehabilitate the youth of the state.
Addressing an impressive public rally in connection with the Punjab Bachao Yatra here today, Capt Amarinder said, the Akalis have never come out of their sectarian and parochial mindset that does not allow them to think beyond themselves. “They first devastated Punjab by dividing it into small pieces and fragments and now they have destroyed even what was left over”, he pointed out, while adding, “while earlier they used to think at least in terms of Akali Dal, but now they are obsessed with Badal family only”.
The PCC President promised to arrest the drift and retrieve the situation to ensure that Punjab is stabilised. He said, “I know it is easy said than done, but I promise you my serious and sincere efforts and I am sure these will bear the positive results”. He regretted that the Akalis had created such a situation in the state that nobody was prepared to invest in Punjab and even those who were already working here were either moving out or expanding to other states.
Spelling out his agenda for the future, Capt Amarinder asked, why should the students, who are studying here not get jobs here only? “Why do they need to go far off places like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore?” he asked, while adding, the job avenues need and must be created back home only. “We are losing our qualified, trained and highly intelligent manpower to other states”, he pointed out and said, it was not only the unemployment and drug addiction, but the brain drain as well, which was a major cause of worry.
Warning against an alarming socio-economic divide in Punjab, he said, Punjab was growing in two ways. One, he said, was the privileged section whose children could afford good education and the other was the less privileged whose children still do not have access to any amenities. He said, this gap needed to be divided to ensure peace, prosperity and progress for Punjab.
Referring to the embezzlement of crores of rupees meant for the memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh at his ancestral village Khatkar Kalan, the former Chief Minister lashed out at the Akalis for not even sparing the money meant for martyrs’ memorials. “They looted Punjab, they robbed the Guru’s golak and they robbed even martyrs’ money”, he pointed out, while adding, there seemed to be no end to the Akalis lust for money and more money.
Addressing the rally, Congress incharge for Punjab Thakur Gulchain Singh Charak congratulated the people of Punjab in general and the Congress workers in particular for their referendum against the Akali-BJP government. “The very fact that the people are attending the Congress rallies in thousands and thousands is the endorsement of party’s agenda”, he observed, while adding, at the same time they rejected the Akali-BJP alliance with BJP leader LK Advani not getting any response for his yatra in Punjab and he did not deem it necessary to get down from his vehicle.
Mr Charak asserted that it was the Congress workers who were the bulwark and strength of the party and the party President Ms Sonia Gandhi has always been insisting that workers’ interests must be supreme and paramount. He promised that the workers’ interests would be watched at all costs when Congress forms government in the state.
Speaking on the occasion Anandpur Sahib MP and president Punjab Youth Congress Ravneet Bittu lashed out at the Akalis for failing the people of Punjab and resorting to reign of terror against the Congress workers.
Among others who addressed the rally included Balbir Singh Sidhu, who was the PCC coordinator for the rally, DCC President Satbir Singh, Guriqbal Kaur, Tarlochan Singh, Balbir Singh (ex-minister) and others.