Chandigarh: A joint Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) – Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation today urged Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore to take preventive action to stop Congress chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh from taking Punjab back into a era of darkness by encouraging radical elements who were hell bent on breaking the country and destroying the hard won peace and communal harmony of the State.
The joint delegation, which was led by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal and BJP State President Shwet Malik , while apprising the Governor of recent developments including uncovering of a plot by the Uttar Pradesh police to eliminate former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, said this was a direct fallout of the support extended to radical elements by the Congress party in Punjab. “Anti-national forces want to silence Badal Sahab as he stands for Hindu-Sikh ekta” and the Congress party is playing into their hands by sponsoring protests against the SAD as well as its senior leadership”, the delegation members said.
Giving the example of the protest by a handful of Congress sponsored protesters outside the ‘pandal’ of a religious congregation at Nikke Ghumni village in Gurdaspur day before yesterday, Mr Sukhbir Badal said the police failed to even take custody of the miscreants who were apprehended and handed over to them. He said earlier on October 5 when radical elements attacked his cavalcade in Sangrur district; they were facilitated by the police which later tried its best not to take action against them.
Speaking on the occasion, BJP State President Shwet Malik said the Congress was playing with fire in the same manner as was done by its leadership in the mid eighties which resulted in the advent of terrorism in the State. He said the SAD-BJP combine would not let anyone disturb Hindu-Sikh unity in the State.
The delegation apprised the Governor of a new and unwelcome trend started by the UT administration by changing the selection criteria for 418 posts of JBT teachers by removing Punjabi qualification as a condition. Former education minister Dr Daljit Cheema said now as per new rules the candidates were required to have knowledge of English and Hindi only despite the fact that they had to teach Punjabi as part of their job profile. The delegation urged the Governor to intervene and ensure knowledge of Punjabi was included in the selection criteria. It also requested that all employees be recruited as per the 60:40 ratio between Punjab and Haryana as per the 1966 Reorganisation of Punjab Act.
The SAD-BJP delegation also briefed the Governor that one lakh scheduled caste students had been denied admission in colleges due to the Congress government’s refusal to release Rs 327 crore received from the centre for distribution to SC students as part of the post matric scholarship scheme four months back. He said earlier in 2017 the centre had released Rs 117 crore which was not utilized. He said now in another development the State government had written to college managements that the scholarship amount would be credited into accounts of children but had not transferred the same to the accounts. He said college managements were now taking a stand that they would let students sit for the papers only if they submitted examination fee which had the potential to destroy the career of two lakh students.
The delegation also apprised the Governor that a volcano may burst due to the unjust policies of the Congress government, including its recent decision not to regularize the services of 8,886 teachers. The members said these teachers, who had put in eight to ten years of service and were drawing salaries between 35,000 to 45,000 were now being asked to work at a flat rate of Rs 15,000 for three years before they could be regularized. They urged the Governor to direct the government to rescind this inhuman order immediately.
Senior SAD-BJP leaders also pointed out the Punjab government was levying 35 per cent VAT on petrol and 20 per cent VAT on diesel on variable terms, meaning the State earned more when petrol and diesel prices increased. He said this has put an unbearable burden on the common man as well as farmers and urged that he direct the State to reduce its taxed immediately. The leaders also pointed out that the centre had reduced its share of taxed despite imposing much less taxes than the State.
Senior SAD leader Maheshinder Grewal pointed out that law and order situation was at its worst in the State. He said day light robberies, dacoities and contract killings had become the order of the day and the Congress government had failed abysmally in this regard.